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The country’s murder total for the first six months of the year is three per cent behind the corresponding period last year, and Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang is expected to outline further plans to reduce the crime rate when he makes his presentation to the 2020-2021 Sectoral Debate in Parliament today.

Official figures from the police show that 21 murders recorded last week pushed the total to 653.

That is three per cent below the 673 recorded for the corresponding period last year.

Other major crimes are also down, with shootings at nine per cent below last year, robberies are down by 13 per cent, and the number of rape incidents down 26 per cent.

The main areas of concern for the police are the Kingston Western Police Division where gang feuds have claimed 50 lives so far this year, an increase of 61 per cent when compared to last year, and the Kingston Central Police Division where there is a 47 per cent increase in murders when compared to the same period last year.

A state of emergency was recently imposed in both police divisions.

The St Andrew North Police Division, which includes Red Hills Road where a major gang feud is currently unfolding, has recorded a 32 per cent increase in murders, while 38 murders in St Ann represent a 90 per cent increase over last year.

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