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03 January, 2006 - Published 12:42 GMT

Jamaica 'murder capital of the world'

Crime in the Caribbean region - especially that resulting in murder - continues to concern authorities.

Haiti remains a highly volatile country - with kidnappings now outstripping others in the region. But concern is mounting in other countries: police leave was cancelled in St Kitts before Christmas, while Guyanese police reported a 50 per cent increase in gun crime.

Trinidad 'more risky' than New York

A group called Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago have called on their authorities to copy the anti-crime measures adopted in New York City. They are concerned after 2005 saw more than 380 people murdered in the country.

A spokesman for the group suggested that life in Trinidad & Tobago is more than four times more risky than in New York, and have suggested the introduction of security cameras and sporting facilities to attract youngsters away from gang membership.

Jamaica 'murder capital of the world'

Every year global crime statistics present a planetary picture of crime and safety. In the past, some Caribbean cities have appeared on the list of the most violent in the world - but countries like South Africa and Columbia have topped the list.

But according to the Caribbean Media Corporation, Jamaica has now been classed the murder capital of the world, after 2005 saw more than 1600 people killed; a tally of at least five people murdered a day.

Jamaica's Prime Minister PJ Patterson said, in this final New Year message to the nation before stepping down, that crime was the country's most pressing problem and called on Jamaicans to play a greater role in the fight against it.

As BBC Caribbean Magazine has reported in 2005, Jamaica's Operation Kingfish - a task-force set up to deal with violent crime - remains one of the Government's initiatives at tackling the problem.