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Property crimes on the rise
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PROPERTY crimes, including larceny, break-ins and robberies, have increased significantly over the first three-and-a-half months of this year.

Police Commissioner Hardley Lewin who made the disclosure Tuesday during his presentation to the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce at the General Accident Insurance Company in St Andrew, said larceny had increased by a whopping 145 per cent, break-ins by 105 per cent and robberies by 28 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

Tuesday, psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj said the significant jumps in property crimes were not surprising given the thousands of citizens who have lost their jobs because of the economic crisis. Jamaicans, he said, should brace themselves for even further increases in such crimes.

“I do expect for us to see a greater level of parasitic behaviour. It is quite feasible that we will have a lot more property crimes,” Semaj told the Observer.

He said men were the ones most likely to engage in dishonest activities in order to survive. “For men who are not productive, the first option is to become parasites. They beg. When they become stronger and more confident, they become predators and they steal,” said Semaj.

Persons made redundant sometimes use the opportunity to start their own businesses, but Semaj said men with low self-esteem could sink into an abyss of begging and stealing.

“If you don’t have that capacity then you won’t rise to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

As for women, the psychologist said those who find themselves out of work could be forced into the sex trade.

“Women who are non-productive there is an increase in the chance of them using their productive capacity. The advertisements for massage parlours have increased and if you drive around the city where prostitutes hang out then you will notice that more women are on the streets,” he said.