Crime down 29%

Overall crime in The Bahamas was down 29 percent between January 1, 2016 and June 14, 2016 when compared to the same period last year, according to police statistics.

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage revealed the statistics in Parliament during his contribution to the budget debate.

The statistics show that most major categories were down during that period.

Murders were down 22 percent for the period, from 69 last year to 54 this year, according to Nottage.

There have been more murders since June 14, pushing the murder count up to 57 for 2016.

This means that murders up to yesterday were down 17 percent.

“This is the effect of some of the strategies that we have adopted,” Nottage said. “And while they appear to be working, we’re going to embolden them so they appear even better in the second half of the year.”

Nottage said while one armed robbery, one rape, and one murder is one too many, the government has worked hard and will continue to work hard to bring down crime to an irreducible level.

The figures shows that up to June 14 attempted murder was down nine percent; manslaughter was up 100 percent; rape was down 15 percent, armed robbery was down 21 percent; and robbery was down 18 percent.

Attempted robbery was up 50 percent.

Thirty-nine rapes were reported up to June 14, 2015.

Thirty-three rapes have been reported during the period this year.

Attempted rape dropped by 38 percent — from eight to five cases.

Unlawful sexual intercourse was up 10 percent — from 63 to 69 cases.

Those crimes all fall under “crimes against the person”, which overall was down 17 percent.

According to the statistics, crime against property decreased overall by 31 percent.

Burglaries were down 48 percent, housebreaking was down 24 percent; stealing was down 35 percent and stealing from vehicles was down 39 percent.

The number of housebreakings dropped during the period from 620 last year to 407 this year.

Stolen vehicles were also down 17 percent from 436 to 360 cases.

Shopbreaking was also down eight percent during the period from 335 last year to 307 this year.

These are the first crime statistics to be released since February when Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade presented his policing plan for the year.

This month, the Canadian government updated its travel advisory and alerted its citizens of high crime levels in The Bahamas.

It highlighted “frequent cases of sexual assault and armed robbery”, particularly in Nassau and Freeport.

Many have said the advisory, among many others, is damaging the tourism industry and spoiling the country’s reputation.

Last week, Nottage said there have been warnings about The Bahamas, it is not the only country faced with the issue of crime.

He said crime-fighting methods have proven successful with the reduction in crime, but his ministry is still working diligently to ensure the safety of Bahamians and visitors.

While much of Greenslade policing plan encompasses the same initiatives previously outlined, it calls for police to acquire the services of a helicopter, the acquisition and lawful deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the construction of a forensic science facility with emphasis on a state-of-the-art DNA laboratory.

The plan did not say when any of these initiatives would come about.

The Nassau Guardian