Crime, overall, in the country was on a downward trend prior to two murders taking place on New Providence in less than 24 hours on Tuesday, according to Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle.
During the country’s 24-hour curfew and weekend-long lockdowns ordered to stem the spread of COVID-19, Rolle said, “only a few” minor crimes took place.
“Crime has been down during the lockdown, with only a few housebreaking and stealing matters other than the arrests for breaches of curfew,” Rolle told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
The commissioner, however, did not provide any crime statistics to support his statement.
The country has been in a state of emergency since March 18, only a few days after the first confirmed COVID-19 case was recorded.
Since the first curfew was imposed on March 20, hundreds of people have been brought before the courts accused of breaching it.
The penalty is a fine of up to $20,000 or up to 18 months in prison.
But with many facing economic hardships and as Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis on Sunday announced that some restrictions will begin to be relaxed, there is some concern that crime may begin to rise.
Chief Superintendent Shanta Knowles recently addressed potential concern, telling reporters on Tuesday that the police force “will continue to beef up” their patrols.
“I want, especially, members of the public to know there is no fear because our officers are on the streets and we are being assisted by marines,” Knowles said.
She also said: “We need to get the country up and running, like the government said, but we will encourage people to follow the protocols that are in place.
“So, whether it’s getting back too quickly or not, we still ask people to follow the [protocols].”