Crime is down seven percent nationwide for the first three months of 2019 when compared to the same time last year, according to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.
Despite the drop, Dames said the police force continues to face a big challenge with stealing.
Dames, who was contributing to the 2019/2020 budget debate in the House of Assembly, said crimes against the person are down by 16 percent.
According to the statistics he provided, robbery was down by 20 percent; rape decreased by 29 percent; unlawful sexual intercourse dropped by three percent and 19 robbery fell by nine percent in the first quarter.
Dames said crimes against the property was also down by five percent.
Housebreaking dropped by 37 percent, shop-breaking dropped by 16 percent and stolen vehicles were down by 27 percent, Dames said.
“It is important to note that despite these significant double-digit decreases in key categories of crimes, the one notable trend that is negatively impacting the overall figures is the category of stealing,” he continued.
However, Dames did not provide statistical data on this category of crime.
“The commissioner has indicated to me that he will be placing a greater emphasis on this offense category, with particular focus on the offense of stealing from vehicles, with the hope of bringing the numbers in this category down,” he added.
As it relates to murder, Dames noted that it continues to trend downward.
“As of June 11, 2019, there have been 37 murders, a decrease of 21 percent compared to the same period, a record-breaking period in 2018, when 47 murders occurred,” he said.
“As murder rates have been decreasing, detection rates have been increasing. As of today, 24 or 65 percent of murders have been detected or solved, which means that persons are being charged.”
He continued, “…Mr. Speaker, the offense of murder remains on the minds of many Bahamians.
“Unfortunately, misinformation on social media can often impact one’s perception of murder trends in The Bahamas.
“Permit me, Mr. Speaker, to put the current murder trend in its proper context so that Bahamians are not misled into thinking that the vast majority of these incidents are random occurrences. The reality is that 17 of the current 37 murder victims were known to the police.
“Six of the victims were on bail for various offenses, including murder, and four of them were being electronically monitored for murder. In other words, in most of these incidents the victim is known to the attacker.
“Nothing justifies a senseless killing, but we cannot turn a blind eye to these facts. This only reminds us that we all have a vested interest in protecting and safeguarding our young men in particular, from the scourge of crime and violence.”