There Are So Many Murders In Jamaica That Newspapers Have To Go To Bizarre Lengths To Categorize Them

Jamaica Police Gang

Photo: AP

The Guardian’s Decca Aitkenhead has a fascinating story about the experience of a British police officer sent to Jamaica to help control the countries’ notorious drug violence.This detail is incredible:

It’s quite difficult to convey the degree to which crime dominates life for many on an island home to fewer than three million people, of whom roughly 1,500 are murdered each year, making it one of the most murderous nations on the planet. So prolific are the killings that one newspaper’s fortnightly crime round-up subdivides them into categories: chopped to death, burned to death, poisoned and so on. There is also a category for all those shot by the police, and by the early 2000s the figure was averaging three a week.

The rest of the story is no less interesting. Mark Shields (who had his phone number published directly in a newspaper for people to report crime) sought to shake up the inefficient police system in the country, not only going after the notorious drug lord (Dudas Coke) — but also going after a top police officer..

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