Criminal who continue to wreak havoc across Jamaica have now snuffed out the lives of close to 1,000 people since the start of the year.

Statistics gathered by the Jamaica Observer showed that, up to the 14th of October, 981 people have been killed, which is a 25.4 per cent increase in killings when compared to corresponding period last year when 781 murders were recorded.

Statistics show that the parish of St James continues to record the highest number of murders, recording 171 so far, compared to 111 up to October 14 last year.

Police have blamed criminals involved in the lotto scam for the bulk of murders committed in the western parishes.

If the killings continue at this rate, the country could end the year with more than 1,200 murders. The country ended 2014 with 1,005 murders — the lowest in 11 years.

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