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Police solving fewer house-breaking cases

An increased number of homes are being broken into in The Bahamas during the daytime and the Royal Bahamas Police Force is having increased difficulty solving these crimes.

There were 3,120 cases of housebreaking in 2010, up 17 percent from the 2,673 housebreakings recorded in 2009. In New Providence there was a 23 percent increase in the offense from 2009 to 2010. Half of the house-breakings on New Providence were committed in the southern part of the island. Out of the 2,158 cases recorded in 2010, 516 occurred in the police force’s southwestern division, 419 in the southeastern division and 137 in the southern division.

In Grand Bahama, house-breaking increased 14 percent, from 547 recorded cases in 2009 to 625 cases last year. The Grand Bahama eastern division recorded 293 recorded house-breakings, the largest number of cases on the island.

Recorded reports of the offense decreased in the smaller Family Islands category by nine percent.

Overall, the police detection rate for house-breaking across the country was eight percent last year, down from 14 percent in 2009. Low house-breaking detection rates were consistent across the country. In New Providence, seven percent of matters were solved; 12 percent in Grand Bahama; and 11 percent in the Family Islands.

“Based upon our investigations, we are of the firm belief that the opportunities for jewelry to be traded quickly for cash and also a ready market in our local communities for stolen property, are two of the main reasons that we were so challenged by these types of property crimes in 2010,”said Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade as he presented crime statistics for 2010 at police headquarters on Monday.

Overall, property crime increased by 15 percent in 2010.

Over the past five years house-breaking has been a major problem in The Bahamas. According to police data, 2,255 cases were recorded in 2005. The 2010 figure represents a 38 percent increase from the 2005 total.

Despite the increase over the past five years, the 2010 figure is much less than the high(4,586)recorded in 1994.

Police have faced increased pressure over the past few years to address the violent crime problem in the country. There have been three homicide records in The Bahamas in the last four years.

It is unclear if police have the resources or capacity to reduce the frequency of property crimes such as house-breaking.

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