Rapes increase 28 percent period-over-period
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Crime declined nine percent in The Bahamas between January 1 and September 30, compared to the same period last year, according to Police Commissioner Paul Rolle.
During a report to the nation presented by national security officials, Rolle said crime decreased overall by four percent in New Providence, 46 percent in Grand Bahama, 39 percent in Abaco and four percent in the Family Islands.
Murders also dropped 29 percent period-over-period and armed robberies declined by 40 percent, according to the commissioner.
He also advised crimes against the person dropped 26 percent overall — 463 incidents during the nine-month period this year, compared to the 629 incidents during the same period in 2019.
However, the crime statistics provided indicated rapes increased 28 percent — from 32 in the first nine months of 2019 compared to 41 in the same period this year.
Armed robberies trended downward 40 percent, from 333 incidents to 199.
Additionally, crimes against property dropped, albeit marginally.
There were 2,680 incidents of crimes against property between January 1 and September 30, compared to the 2,817 incidents during the same period in 2019.
This means crimes against property declined by five percent.
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames also advised that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s illegal poaching interdictions and drug smuggling seizures were up period-over-period.
He said there were six illegal poaching interdictions over the nine-month period this year compared to the four in the same period last year.
He also said there were 884 pounds of drugs seized during this period this year compared to 302 pounds seized in the same period last year.
The commissioner said the police force continues to invest in technology to help in the fight against crime.
He pointed out that the government invested over $680,000 to acquire 200 body-worn and dash cameras.
According to Rolle, 120 of these devices were deployed in daily operations.
He also noted ShotSpotter technology continues to pay dividends.
The technology, which detects gunshots, send an instant notification to authorities on and pinpoints the exact location of the gunshots.
Rolle said that between March and September, the span of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas, police responded to “272 incidents totaling 954 shots fired”.
He also provided an update on closed-circuit television (CCTV).
The government signed a contract with a local vendor to expand the program by 507 cameras equipped with license plate and facial recognition throughout New Providence.
The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of the year, according to officials, who said 221 cameras were installed as of July 21.
The police force is also expected to receive a batch of 55 surveillance drones by October 12, following which training will commence.
Additionally, the police force has created 139 neighborhood watch groups throughout the archipelago to “help bridge the gap between the police and the community”.
“…I wish to stress that the force remains resolute in its mandate to maintain law and order throughout [the] Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” Rolle said.
“To the men and women of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, there are no words that can adequately express the gratitude for your invaluable services.
“Thank you for your commitment and dedication to service.
“The force will continue to deploy adequate police resources to keep all residents and visitors of The Bahamas safe.”