Crime increases in Family Islands, despite overall downward trend

Crime increases in Family Islands, despite overall downward trend

Crime overall down four percent for first half of the year

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While crime has dropped overall in The Bahamas, crime in the Family Islands rose 23 percent for the first half of the year when compared to the same period last year, according to crime statistics released by Police Commissioner Paul Rolle.

The commissioner, who presented the mid-year crime statistics during a press conference at police headquarters, largely attributed the crime increase in the Family Islands to crimes against property, including housebreaking, shopbreaking and stealing in Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera.

In the Family Islands, housebreaking increase by 47 percent — from 58 to 85.

Shopbreaking rose 63 percent and stealing increased 35 percent.

Burglary dropped 92 percent — from 12 to one.

Murders, attempted murders, unlawful sexual intercourse, robbery and attempted also rose marginally among the Family Islands.

However, in Grand Bahama, crime fell 47 percent period over period, despite a doubling in murders and an increase in rapes on the island.

Murders increased on Grand Bahama from four to eight during the two periods in question.

In nearly every other category of crime, there were marked decreased, particularly stolen vehicles which dropped       from 15 to one; armed robberies and unlawful sexual intercourse, which both declined by 80 percent.

Nationally, crime declined four percent between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Murders declined by 20 percent.

There have been 36 murders for the first half of the year.

Of these, 30 matters have been resolved, representing 83 percent.

Up to the end of June 2019, there were 45 murders.

The commissioner said historically there has been around 54 murders for the first six months of the year.

Attempted murder dropped 67 percent, manslaughter decreased by one incident; unlawful sexual intercourse dropped 22 percent; armed robbery and robbery decreased by 34 percent and 12 percent respectively. Meanwhile attempted armed robbery increase by 17 percent and rape increased by nine percent, with two more incidents during the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Across The Bahamas, crimes against property increased marginally — from 1,950 incidents for the first half of 2019 to 1,973 incidents this year, a one percent increase.

Stealing declined nine percent and stolen vehicles fell nine percent. Conversely, burglary increased 60 nationally, shopbreaking 14 percent, stealing from vehicles rose seven percent.

According to the commissioner, Hondas were the most targeted vehicles, representing 44 percent of all vehicles stolen. He noted police recovered 42 percent of all stolen vehicles.

Housebreakings overall declined by 13 percent — from 319 to 278 incidents.

He said, however, the police force was challenged and it “rose to the occasion amid its vast responsibilities” during the first half of the year.

Rolle acknowledged the extended curfews and lockdowns in recent months have had an impact on crime,