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Jamaica to strengthen efforts to combat violent crime with help from the IDB

US$20 million loan will train the Jamaica Constabulary Force to improve its handling and processing of murder investigations

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$20 million loan to support the Government of Jamaica’s efforts to measurably increase the conviction rate for murders and other violent crimes.

This project aims to help reduce homicides through intensified crime prevention activities as well as to improve the quality and rate of criminal investigations being managed by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Key metrics will be the number of murder investigations and the overall murder conviction rate. The project will also fund the training of Jamaica Constabulary Force personnel in the use of technology to combat crime and to improve criminal case management.

Jamaica’s violent crime rate of 223 per 100,000 inhabitants continues to be among the highest in the Americas, and has negatively affected its economic growth prospects.

Between 2010 and 2016, the country averaged over 1,200 murders. Out of this total, just 43% resulted in an arrest and subsequent criminal charges being filed against a suspect. Just 36 individuals (3 percent) were successfully incarcerated on murder charges each year.

This project will also seek to address the high percentage of female murder victims of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence. During the last five years, 19 percent of female murders were the result of domestic violence, as compared to 3 percent of male murders.

“Modernizing the intelligence of the Jamaica Constabulary Force through the use of technology and better surveillance techniques are important to enhancing policing and citizen security in Jamaica," said Therese Turner-Jones, general manager of the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department. "A modern, trained police force is fundamental to improving the lives of the people of Jamaica."

The US$20 million loan is for a 25-year term, including a 5.5-year grace period, at a LIBOR-based interest rate, and is funded through the IDB’s Ordinary Capital. The executing agency will be Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.