Categorized | Featured, National News

Crime Down 13 Per Cent

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On the heels of the advisory by the US warning its citizens of crime in The Bahamas,
data compiled by the Royal Bahamas Police Force indicates that serious crime has decreased by 13 per cent.

This was revealed by Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson yesterday at the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s annual Crime Statistics Briefing.

“Preliminary figures for 2017 show that crimes across the entire Bahamas decreased by some 13 per cent compared to 2016.

“Violent Crime decreased by 20 per cent and Property crimes are down 11 per cent.

“Crimes in Nassau and Grand Bahama decreased by 14 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

“With the effects of murder, overall incidents increased by ten per cent with 122 incidents compared to 111 incidents in 2016,” Mr. Ferguson said.

Despite surpassing the murder count for 2016 last year, Commissioner Ferguson pointed to a notable decline in the latter quarter of 2017, as an indication that things may be turning around.

“This decrease was meaningful as murders previously averaged bout twelve per month, for the first time in a long time. The Bahamian people can breathe a sigh of relief as incidents of this most heinous crime have begun to subside.

“We know that this was not a coincidence, but the result of analyzing trends, refocusing policing operations and getting valuable intelligence from members of the public.

“The operations of the Anti Gang and Firearms Unit and the Rapid Response Unit have greatly impacted curbing the murder count,” Mr. Ferguson said.

Commissioner Ferguson however still remained tight lipped on the specifics on the Force’s crime strategy for 2018, saying he does not want to preempt the National Security Minister. However he did reveal that an influx of new technology and equipment will play a major role in the fight against crime in this new year.

“Our policing priorities for 2018 will be geared towards professionalization of the service, effective management, optimizing the use of technology, interacting with at risk youth, improving road safety and continued prevention and reduction of crime.

“You can expect to see a high number of officers moving about on the streets. This initiative is two fold, as it will provide a sense of safety in our communities and that the criminal element can know that they will not be able to operate with impunity,” Mr. Ferguson said.

Responding directly to that advisory issued by the US concerning the safety of Arawak Cay, Commissioner Ferguson said his numbers indicate that the tourist hit spot is safe contrary to the information that was put out last week.

While crime is down overall not all good news as police also revealed a slight uptick in family island crime by some six per cent.

Preliminary figures indicate that Family Island murders were up 75 per cent when you take into consideration the four that took place in 2016 compared to 7 in 2017.

Also rape was up 83 per cent with 6 incidents in 2016, compared to 11 in 2017. Robbery went up 33 per cent and burglary 65 per cent.

Despite the daunting figures, the Commissioner says the Force will use the same aggressive crime fighting approach in the Family Islands that will be used in the capital.

This, as Family Island residents have raised concern with several murders taking place early this new year and two persons being found dead in Abaco over the weekend.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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