Acting Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce told a news briefing at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City that provisional data up to November 10, shows that 102 fewer crimes were committed in Barbados this year when compared to the same period last year.
“The crime mix of offences remains predominantly as offences against the person and offences against property. From that mix we have seen decreases in what we call major crime . . . murder, robbery, rape, aggravated robbery, theft from the person and commercial burglaries,” acting Commissioner Boyce announced, flanked by his senior officers.
The statistics also reveal that there have been four fewer murders than last year. Boyce told reporters that to date, 24 people have been murdered. With respect to robberies, these are down by two, while aggravated burglaries are seven fewer than this time last year.
“The other crimes are showing a three per cent decrease when compared with the same period in 2017. If you look at drug-related crimes, assaults with intent, assaults occasioning actual bodily harm . . . we are seeing figures of 5,551 in 2017 against 5,349 in 2018,” he added.
The top cop said that in their efforts to rid the country of illegal firearms, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) has been able to recover 69 compared to 73 last year.
“This does not mean that our efforts have not been intensive in the first ten months of the year,” he added.
Boyce said crimes which involved the use of guns have also seen a large decrease this year.
“We are registering 166 firearms-enabled crime as compared with 245 for the period last year. Firearm-enabled crimes includes murder, robbery, assault with intent to rob, aggravated robbery, endangering life and shooting with intent,” he disclosed.
He also announced that between January and October this year, the police charged 2,042 people with 3,823 offences. This comprised 1,782 males charged with 3,438 crimes and 260 females with 385 offences this year. His breakdown also showed that there were four times as many males charged with crimes than females.
“Analysis shows that the age group between 20 to 29 accounted for 903; and between 30 and 39 represents 526 and over 40 accounted for 615,” he added.
According to him, there were 647 first-time offenders against 751 repeat offenders. Boyce also announced that the force’s Yuletide anti-crime initiative, which started on November 15, will be intensified as a larger than usual number of officers take to the streets and commercial centers in the coming weeks.
He said police officers have been asked to put in extra days to ensure the numbers on the streets are adequate.
“The reason why we focus so much on Yuletide policing is that we want to ensure that people can have the freedom to do what they do best around the Christmas time . . . that is shop, move around, have fun and enjoy the pleasures of the season. So our programme is to reassure members of the public that the police would be out in their numbers,” the acting Police Commissioner pointed out.
Boyce told the press briefing that while the police would be flexible in allowing Bridgetown vendors to freely ply their trade particularly at this time, they must however ensure they operate within the scope of the law.
Greater attention will be paid to violence at school compounds, on buses and on the streets by children, he added. Boyce said the increasing aggression and violence among school students was a worrying issue for the constabulary.