|Violent crimes down 6 percent, police chief says|
Royston Jones Jr.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Jul 17, 2012
Violent crime in The Bahamas is down six percent overall for the first half of 2012, according to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.
While Greenslade said yesterday that he has seen improved results, he did not provide any statistics to the media to make their own comparisons.
Murders are not among the categories that are down, according to Nassau Guardian records.
However, the commissioner said that armed robbery, which was up “marginally”, was the only exception to the downward trend, but cases of murder, attempted murder, rape, attempted rape and unlawful sexual intercourse are all down.
Two matters that had previously been classified as murders were recently reclassified as manslaughter.
Up to yesterday, there were 73 recorded murders for the year so far, according to Superintendent Paul Rolle, head of the Central Detective Unit.
According to Nassau Guardian records, this time last year there were also 73 murders recorded.
July 2011 was the bloodiest month recorded in 2011, with 20 murders. May 2012 broke that record with 21 murders.
So far, there have been eight murders recorded for this month.
Greenslade said aggressive targeting of known offenders, increased saturation patrols, community-based policing and other special operations have contributed to the overall improvement.
“We see a distinct change in terms of what is happening and what I must also say that is significant, is that we have arrested a number of prolific offenders [who] are still incarcerated,” he said.
“That is also the reason why things have been a bit quiet.”
He added: “If we continue to enjoy the support of The Bahamas people, and I have no reason to believe that we will not...and our officers stay the course — that is to stay on the front lines, stay connected with their communities and continue to follow the mandate that we’ve given them — you will see a really better back end of the year.”
The 2011 crime report presented in January reflected a 35 percent increase in murders compared to 2010 — from 94 to 127.
Nationwide, rapes last year were up 37 percent (107) — from the 78 recorded in 2010.
The commissioner said the decline in violent crime should continue as more initiatives such as a selective enforcement team, a digital forensics team among others, come on stream in the near future.
He also said the Police Force is constantly being restructured to become more efficient.
The latest transition has been placing a portion of the squad cars and police officers, who would ordinarily be attached to certain police stations, in the field to patrol.
“I’ve looked across the whole organization and I’ve done that, and so we have a lot of vehicles out there, lots of people on the streets consistently and it’s delivering good results,” Greenslade said.