Commissioner of Police (COP) Anthony Ferguson said police intend to be very aggressive in pursing perpetrators of sexual violence.
Ferguson was speaking to the increase in reported rapes in 2018.
“We realize that you have persons who are hell-bent on moving about in the communities and targeting people,” Ferguson said during his annual press conference.
“There’s a slight increase in matters as it relates to [rape]; we recognize that, but there are some things you will not be able to prevent. All you have to do is do your best to make sure that you continue to get a reduction in those things.
“That’s why I said we will endeavor to get into those hotspots where those persons, we believe, are sitting idly and targeting people.
“They are the areas we are going to continue to get in and flush them out and make sure arrest them.”
Police said there were 55 reported incidents of rape in 2018 compared to 52 in 2017.
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.
In 2016, there were 71 incidents of rape, 15 incidents of attempted rape and 144 incidents of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Ferguson urged Bahamians to report those individuals involved in crime to police.
“You don’t have to tell us your name,” he said.
“Just pick up the phone and dial us, and trust me we are going to be very, very aggressive in dealing with that.
“Rapes are some of the things that we should never want to happen in society.
“Wherever you find persons involved in attacking women, I think all of us ought to be aggressive in pursuing them so we can provide evidence to get those people out of our community.”
Police reported early last year that two 12-year-old girls were sexually assaulted in separate incidents.
Police also reported that a six-year-old girl was assaulted by a man last April. The girl’s grandfather said she was dragged behind a store by a man who attempted to rape her but instead fled the scene.
Acting Chief Justice Vera Watkins said on Wednesday that a court focused on sexual assault cases would be a “tremendous benefit” to the victims of sex crimes.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications