Murders down 26 percent in Q1

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Murders for the first quarter of 2019 remain down by 26 percent compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis of Eyewitness New Online’s records.

There have been 19 murders in The Bahamas for 2019.

Twenty-six murders were recorded between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018.

A closer look at the figures show that murders were down in January by 75 percent compared to January 2018, however, by March that trend had reserved equally.

There were 12 murders in January 2018, compared to the three murders in January 2019.

There were 10 murders in February 2018.

In February 2019, there were nine murders.

Last year there were four murders in March, compared to the seven murdered recorded last month — a month-on-month increase of 75 percent.

Last year, ended with 91 murders, the lowest on record since 2009 when 85 murders were recorded.

Murders are also down 51 percent over the 39 murders recorded up to this point in 2017; and down 36 percent over the 30 murders recorded up to March 31, 2016.

Following the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old T.A. Thompson student on March 26, the government has to consider introducing “technological, innovative” changes within the public-school system to increase safety and security in the wake of the fatal stabbing.

He pointed to the government’s roll-out of ShotSpotter technology and the expansion of closed-circuit television cameras around New Providence, which the government expects to help limit violent crimes.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said while crime statistics have continued to trend downward, a lot of work remains to be done and stakeholders and the community must all work together to holistically address criminality.

The government has committed to addressing the root causes of crime and pledged to develop target-based strategies, and modernize the branches of law enforcement.

Last November, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis declared that Bahamians were no longer fearful of crime.

At the time, he said he was pleased and encouraged by what law enforcement had been doing.

He also touted the pace of murders being on par to remain under the triple digits.

He attributed the trend to aggressive and innovative strategies being implemented by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“I cannot discuss their strategic plans going forward, but they are working aggressively to ensure that Bahamians are safe,” Minnis said.

The commissioner’s policing plan for 2019 has yet to be made available to the public, however, Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson noted during his annual press briefing that the organization’s strategies will remain largely the same as they have yielded good results.

 Record

Violent crimes, particularly murders, have plagued Bahamian communities – mainly on New Providence – in recent years.

There were 122 murders in 2017, up nine percent from the 111 murders in 2016.

There were 146 murders in 2015, the highest recorded.

In addition to 2015, there have been murder records in the years 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In 2014, there were 123 murders and 119 in 2013.

The official murder count for 2012 was 111.

In 2011, 127 murders were recorded.

Sixty-one murders were recorded in 2006; 78 in 2007; 73 in 2008; 85 in 2009; and 94 in 2010.