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KINGSTON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Jamaica witnessed more murder cases between January and June 2016 while other serious and violent crimes dropped significantly, the official Jamaica Information Service reported on Thursday.

The government news outlet, citing statistics from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, said the murder rate in the country rose to 22.2 per 100,000 persons during the first half of this year, up from 21.7 per 100,000 in the corresponding period 2015.

However, other serious and violent crimes, including aggravated assault, break-ins, larceny, rape, robbery and shootings, witnessed a 22.8 percent reduction during the reviewed period, the news service reported.

Despite the increase in murder cases, Richard Lumsden, deputy director general of the planning institute, said the figures reflect the "continued downward trend in overall crime rates that began in June 2010, into a sixth consecutive year."

He further indicated that the number of offences committed in the country decreased from 151 per 100,000 persons to 117 per 100,000.

Jamaica, with a population of less than 3 million, has reported a high crime rate since the 1970s, whose homicide rate was listed as the world's sixth highest by the United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime in 2014.

The Caribbean island nation recorded 1,207 murders last year, up nearly 20 percent over the 2014 figure.


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