Rapes up 12%
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – With the exception of rapes, at least four major categories of crime have decreased by double digits between January 1, 2018, and December 18, 2018, compared to the same period last year, according to a snapshot of crime statistics released by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).
The RBPF released statistics for five major categories of crime, including murder, rape, armed robbery and shootings — a category which was not included in the crime statistics for 2017.
The annual crime statistics report, which is typically released in January, contains 15 categories of crimes split into ‘crimes against person’ and ‘crimes against property’.
According to the data released yesterday, rapes were up 12 per cent — 49 rapes between January 1, 2017, and December 18, 2017, compared to 55 rapes during the same period this year.
Murders were down 26 per cent — from 122 murders during the period last year to 89 murders in the same period this year.
Armed robberies were also down 16 per cent.
There were 547 armed robberies for the period in 2017.
As of December 18, 2018, there were 460 armed robberies, a decrease of 87.
Shootings were also down 39 per cent during the period, according to statistics.
For the period last year, there were 110 shootings compared to the 67 shootings for the period this year.
Authorities noted that of the 67 shootings this year, 10 were categorized as attempted murders.
Police said charges were filled for those 10 incidents.
According to crime statistics released in January, there were 13 attempted murders for the entirety of 2017.
Authorities did not release data on attempted murders for the period, January 1, 2017, through December 18, 2017.
The statistics were released shortly after Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson held a press conference at police headquarters to quash concerns over the recent spate of murders.
With more than a week remaining in the year, there have been 10 murders this month — double the five murders recorded in December 2017.
Of the incidents this month, three were double murders.
Addressing the media, Ferguson assured residents there is no need to be fearful of crime.
While he did not expound, the commissioner warned Bahamians to be very careful with the company they keep.
He indicated that some of the recent victims were not the intended targets, but they were killed because they were with the someone who was being targeted.
Noting that he will release all crime statistics very early in the new year, Ferguson said he was very pleased with the trends observed to date.
Last month, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said crime overall was down.
He said while authorities were encouraged by what they were seeing, efforts will be increased in the coming weeks and months to continue the downward trend.
At the time, he made the statement murders were down 34 per cent — 76 as of November 13, 2018, compared to 116 during the same period in the previous year.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis went a step further and declared that Bahamians were no longer fearful of crime.
He predicted the year would end with fewer than 100 murders, a feat not achieved since 2010 when 94 murders were recorded.