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Murders rise 61% in 2021

In the first nine months of 2021, murders rose 61 percent, jumping from 54 in the same period last year to 87 this year, but Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle reported yesterday that, overall, crime was down two percent.

Of the 87 murders, 79 were on New Providence, six on Grand Bahama and two on the Family Islands. 

“Victims between the age of 18 and 35 represent 66 percent of all homicides,” said Rolle during a virtual press briefing yesterday.

“Retaliation and conflict were the most common motives for murders, representing 55 percent of the total.

“Fatal gunshot wounds remain the leading cause of death, accounting for 75 murder incidents. We were able to solve 59 percent of all murder cases from January to September 2021.”

Attempted murders were up 33 percent with 15 cases last year and 20 this year.

Manslaughter cases went from one to four.

Overall, crimes against the person increased by 26 percent.

Armed robberies were up 45 percent, jumping from 218 in the first nine months of 2020 to 317 during that period this year. 

The commissioner said these incidents occurred mostly between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“Most armed robberies occurred on the streets with business establishments and residences close behind,” he said.

“Firearms continue to be the weapon of choice for the commission of armed robberies.”

Robberies increased 16 percent, from 63 in 2020 to 73 in 2021.

Attempted robberies were up 57 percent, from seven in 2020 to 11 in 2021.

There was a 13 percent decrease in sexual offenses with 131 cases reported so far this year. One hundred and fifty-one cases were reported during the same period last year.

Included in the count are rape, unlawful sexual intercourse and attempted rape. 

Reported rapes were up eight percent, from 37 in 2020 to 40 in 2021.

There was a 36 percent increase in domestic violence incidents with 2,562 incidents reported this year. One thousand eight hundred and eighty-five incidents were reported the year before.

One hundred and nine missing person reports were made.

Sixty-nine of those reports were made on New Providence, 26 on Grand Bahama and 14 on the Family Islands.

Sixty-nine reports required “no further action where persons were found safe”, according to the commissioner.

He said 40 cases remain open and under investigation.

Crimes against property

Although crimes against property decreased by seven percent overall, stolen vehicle reports increased by 22 percent with 209 incidents when compared to the 172 over the same period last year.

“Nissans were the most targeted vehicles of choice, representing 38 percent of all vehicles stolen,” the commissioner said.

“Residences continue to be the most targeted location. Cases of stolen vehicles were more prevalent in the southwestern division, which accounted for 25 percent of the overall total.

“Thirty-three percent of all stolen vehicles were recovered thus far in 2021. Stealing from vehicles decreased by 30 percent when compared to the same period in 2020.”

Housebreaking incidents decreased by four percent. There were 426 cases last year and 409 this year.

New Providence accounted for 64 percent of all housebreaking matters. Most of those incidents occurred in the eastern division.

Grand Bahama, Abaco and Bimini accounted for 21 percent of housebreaking matters and the Family Islands accounted for the remaining 15 percent. Most of the incidents reported on the Family Islands took place on Eleuthera.

Burglary decreased by 45 percent with 61 incidents this year when compared to the 111 incidents reported in 2020.

Other matters

The commissioner also reported that during the period, there were 11 police-involved shootings.

Six of those were fatal; five of which are before the Coroner’s Court. Rolle said a sixth case was being processed yesterday.

The police chief also reported that between January and September, officers seized 201 illegal firearms and 2,536 rounds of ammunition.

They also seized 4,291 pounds of marijuana, 8,727 marijuana plants and 855 pounds of cocaine.

“These drug seizures led to the arrests of 1,000 suspects while 788 persons were charged and placed before the courts for drug-related cases,” he reported.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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