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Murder detection rate at 66%

Police have closed 62 of the 93 murder cases recorded so far this year, bringing the detection rate to 66 percent, according to Superintendent Leon Bethell.

The latest statistics represent a slight drop compared to last quarter. At the end of September the murder detection rate was 74 percent. Nonetheless, Bethell, who heads the Central Detective Unit, said the current rate is admirable.

Police closed a murder investigation earlier this week.

On Mondaypolice charged two suspects with the murder of an Abaco businessman and the attempted murder of his girlfriend and daughter.

Dacinson Berchant, 27, of Central Pines Estates, and Brandon Evans, 29, of Cove Estates, are accused of planning to rob Stanley Saintvil between December 5 and 6. Police allege that the men killed Saintvil during a robbery on December 6.

Despite the successes of the police force, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said there is far too much violence in the country.

“We are very, very concerned about the amount of murders that have been recorded in The Bahamas for the year to date,”he toldThe Nassau Guardianyesterday at police headquarters.”And certainly we’ve been concerned about the number of murders that have been recorded in past years.”

The Bahamas has set three murder records in the past four years. This year-so far-the murder rate reached an all-time high of 93.

According toThe Guardianrecords, the homicide count for 2009 was 87-84 murders and three classified as manslaughter. Prior to that, the murder rate was 78, which was set in 2007.

“These numbers[are]much too high,”Greenslade said.”Far too many of our people are dying at the hands of other Bahamians-our healthy-bodied young adults males(predominantly)who simply have no respect for the dignity for human beings or for anything that is good and decent.

“We, however, have been relentless in our pursuit of those who commit serious crimes and I daresay minor crimes. We have pursued them in a professional way, we have arrested them and taken them to court,”he continued.

Superintendent Bethell said most of the police successes over the past year came because of cooperation from the Bahamian public.

“Notwithstanding the record amount of murders, we have been getting good success,”Bethell said.

“We credit that to the heart of the Bahamian people who largely do not want to see all of this violence and evil perpetrating throughout the community, but want to help in a way to make sure that people can go about their lives in peace.”

He thanked the Bahamian public for their support so far. He added that while the police have the investigative abilities to solve crimes, they also rely heavily on the members of the public.

Bethel predicted that the murder detection rate will significantly improve by the new year. He said police are close to closing several outstanding matters.

Most of the murder victims this year died as a result of gun shot wounds.

Greenslade said yesterday that far too many illegal weapons are on the streets of New Providence.

“There is a proliferation of guns in our society. Far too many of our young men are moving about with illegal weapons,”he said, adding that the police have taken well over 200 guns off the streets this year alone.

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