Following the violent beating of a 14-year-old girl, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has spoken out about the incident, explaining that crime in the country is decreasing but the crimes are becoming more violent.
The teen was ganged and beaten on December 30 by multiple older women in Clarendon. The subsequent release of footage taken of the attack ignited outrage online, with many declaring it a clear sign of the high rate of crime in the country and the inability of the authorities to control it.
However, according to the prime minister, crime is on the decline. In a video shared on his Instagram page on Friday, Holness expressed that he’s distressed by the savage violence unleashed by the women in the video.
Holness then shared that an analysis of Jamaica’s violence data was conducted, and according to their findings, major crimes, including murder, shootings, robbery, assault, and rape, have been decreasing. Holness further disclosed that major crimes are currently the lowest they have been in the past 22 years.
Despite the decrease in crime, the prime minister said the perception in the country was that it was increasing as Jamaicans viewed violence and crime as one entity. He clarified that the number of crimes committed in the country is decreasing, but the violent nature of the crimes committed has increased.
In addition to his statement in the video, Holness stated in the post’s caption that the beating of the teen is a sad reflection on Jamaican society. He said the attack exemplified the challenges that the country is facing in tackling the quantity as well as the severity of crimes.
Holness added that there was no room for complacency when faced with brutality of that scale, and the government will continue to intensify its efforts to address the causes of violence.
Watch the video below.