There has been one benefit to continued measures aimed at having people stay at home and limit their movement and that is a decrease in murder and violent crimes, according to Police Commissioner Griffith.
Newsday spoke to Griffith on Sunday who attributed the decrease in violent crimes to fewer people being on the streets and a heightened police presence at night.
But he warned that criminals were changing their strategies to try and avoid arrest and people must continue to remain vigilant.
There has been a global trend in a drastic drop in serious crimes as many countries have imposed curfews and other measures to keep people off the street.
“We have seen a reduction in both homicides and all violent crimes; this is not to say necessarily that because of this, it automatically triggers criminal elements not to commit a crime.
“There has been a reduction in homicides in comparison to pre-covid19 period not just in homicides but also all violent crimes.
“There may have been an escalation as I anticipated that there is another type of crime they (criminals) will turn to, which is the robberies, burglaries, break-ins of businesses. This is why business owners need to ensure they have proper security mechanisms.”
Griffith reminded the public to use the police 555 hotline if they had suspicions of criminal activities taking place in their neighbourhood.
Citing a recent spate of homicides in Jamaica, Griffith said the overall slowdown in violent crimes was no reason for the police to be complacent. He said the authorities here would be changing their strategies to combat criminals by shifting its workforce to operational units.
“We are going to also do lockdowns during the day to try and minimise the movement of people, primarily to reduce the virus from spreading but it will also peg back the criminals who feel they can commit their crimes during the day.
“The vast majority of all of my administrative, financial, human resource, logistics units I have had to transfer them to be operational.
Newsday also spoke to Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations Jayson Forde who said while he could not identify the exact figures there was a general decline in crimes.
“Generally we see a decline in all crimes, as there are fewer people outside and fewer criminals outside as well.”
He said despite the relative slowdown of crime, the police would continue to follow up on all reports of crime.
“As far as practical, we will continue enquiries because enquiries do not stop. Covid will not stop enquiries so we will be doing investigations but we will be doing more operations because we want people to adhere to the guidelines.”