Crime in The Bahamas decreased by eight percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to statistics released by Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson yesterday.
The data revealed that crimes against the person fell by 16 percent last year.
However, incidents of attempted murder and rape increased.
There were 19 incidents of attempted murder in 2018, compared to 13 in 2017 — an increase of 46 percent.
Police recorded 55 incidents of rape last year, compared to 52 in 2017 — an increase of six percent.
During his annual press conference at police headquarters, Ferguson said, “Last year, the Royal Bahamas Police Force conducted an analysis of the crime situation in our country and determined that adjustments to our approach to policing were necessary, so we immediately placed a workable plan into action.
“Recognizing the shortage of operational manpower on the streets, we partnered with our colleagues from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and formed a strong operational team to move about and attack the criminal element from all angles.
“The offensive tactics have yielded many arrests.
“We also expanded our intelligence in collaboration with our international partners; have strategically conducted a number of focused, intelligence-driven operations comprising of major land, sea and air assault targeting the criminal element in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and surrounding areas that yielded positive results.”
Police recorded 91 murders in 2018, of which 88 were males and three were females.
This represents a 25 percent decrease in killings, compared to 122 murders in 2017.
Of those killings, 80 occurred on New Providence, six on Grand Bahama and five on the Family Islands.
Ferguson said the detection rate of these killings saw a significant increase when compared to previous years.
Police were able to solve 67, or 73.63 percent, of those incidents in 2018, compared to detection rates of 57.38 percent in 2017, 53.15 percent in 2016 and 46.5 in 2015.
“While we are indeed encouraged by the noted reductions in murder and other crime, I want you to know that the reductions did not happen by mere coincidence, but as a result of analyzing trends, refocusing policing operations and developing valuable intelligence,” Ferguson said.
“The operations and training of all areas of the force, working together in support of my anti-crime strategy and my policing plan, were deliberate and impacted the reduction in overall murders and other serious crimes.”
Nearly every other category of violent crime decreased.
Unlawful sexual intercourse fell by 23 percent, from 146 to 113; and the number of attempted rapes saw no change, with 11 occurring in 2017 and 11 in 2018.
Armed robbery fell by 18 percent, from 575 to 474; robbery fell by six percent, from 115 to 108; and attempted robbery fell by 19 percent, from 16 to 13.
There were no manslaughter cases last year, compared to one in 2017 and one in 2016.
Crimes against property fell by six percent, with significant decreases in shopbreaking, stealing and stolen vehicles.
While he did not release his 2019 policing plan yesterday, Ferguson said that plan will have no major changes from last year’s plan.
“My policing plan for 2019 is near completion and will be submitted to the minister of national security to be tabled in Parliament before its release,” he said.
“… Once that process is completed, my policing plan will be made available to all of you and members of the public.
“I will tell you, though, that there will be no major changes in my 2019 policing plan, as my 2018 policing plan is still relevant; it works, and it is yielding desired results and more, so I am pleased to continue with it.
“We will continue to build on effective management strategies, professionalizing the service, optimizing the use of technology, interacting with at-risk youth, improving road safety and the continued prevention and reduction of crime.”
In 2017, police recorded a 14 percent decrease in overall crime, compared to 2016.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications