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Dames: Murders and armed robberies up so far this year

Murders and armed robberies have increased significantly so far this year compared to the same period last year, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday.

While Dames said overall crime is down, those two categories are exceptions.

“Let me be the first to say that the numbers, as presented, are very encouraging and lends to the fact that we are truly heading in the right direction as it relates to crime,” he said.

“However, this year, while overall crime is showing an eight percent reduction, we are seeing increases in two key areas: murder and armed robbery.

“At present, murders are up 52 percent and armed robberies are up 42 percent over last year at the same time.”

There have been 47 murders for the year so far, according to police.

Dames said, “This up-ticking appears to be a global trend. But, it is also a reminder that there remains much work ahead of us.”

With 73 murders recorded in 2020, it was the lowest count in a decade for The Bahamas, down 23 percent compared to 2019, which saw 95 murders.

There were 313 armed robberies in 2020, down 41 percent, compared to the 531 recorded in 2019.

Many have questioned whether the state of emergency, which The Bahamas has been under for more than a year now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to a decrease in crime in 2020.

Early in the pandemic, Bahamians, especially on New Providence, were subject to a number of restrictive measures, which at one point included both a 24-hour curfew on weekdays, during which people were only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons and weekend lockdowns where everyone had to remain within the confines of their property for days at a time. 

While a number of restrictions remain in place, including a 10 p.m. curfew on New Providence, the country has reopened significantly compared to early last year.

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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