by Bahamas Police Commissioner, Ellison Greenslade:
2013 was a year filled with crime challenges. We saw a proliferation of murders in our country and received far too many reports of shootings and a wide variety of other complaints. Despite the high volume of crime complaints, our officers performed admirably. Not only did they respond to criminal complaints but they also responded to thousands of calls for services (Received via 919 and at police station desks) which were not directly related to serious crime.
I am pleased to report that overall serious crimes against the person decreased by 4% in 2013. This decrease was influenced by decreases in attempted murder, armed robbery, robbery, and attempted robbery which posted decreases of 52%, 8%, 2%, and 9% respectively. Notwithstanding the overall decrease in serious crimes against the person in 2013, the record number of 119 murders eclipsed the positive contributions made by officers who worked very hard to prevent the escalation of serious crimes against the person.
The 119 murders in 2013 represent an increase of 8 murders over the figure of 111 which was recorded in 2012. Due to the outstanding work by police officers and detectives, 61 persons were arrested and charged for murders committed in 2013. The detection for murders committed in 2013 now stands at 51% and I hasten to point out that the percentage is improving as we continue to solve cases from 2013. Detectives also continue to pursue cases from earlier years and suspects in these cases will also be placed before the courts.
In 2013, crimes against property decreased by 9%. This increase was influenced by decreases in Burglary, Housebreaking, Shop breaking, Stealing, and stealing of vehicles which posted decreases of 12%, 23%, 9%, 4% and 15% respectively. The only property crime category that posted an increase was stealing from vehicles with an increase of 6% over 2012.
In 2013 we were deliberate in our responses to pursue and arrest persons in possession of illegal firearms, ammunition and drugs. We established a Selective Enforcement Team, which was recently renamed the “Flying Squad”, to target prolific offenders and we enhanced the capacity of the Firearms Tracing and Investigations Unit at CDU. We launched hundreds of undercover operations in 2013 and we executed thousands of search warrants. These efforts paid good dividends as you will note when the interdiction figures are shared with you momentarily.
We have prepared statistical reports which you will receive immediately after this press briefing. These reports will provide details regarding actual crime figures which will obviate the many successes that we have had.
I wish to conclude my remarks by thanking the Government of The Bahamas for providing us with the required resources to effectively perform our duties and for the support that they continue to give us on a daily basis. I wish to also thank members of the community for the tremendous support which we received in 2013. Our best results were as a result of the support which we received from our public.
I wish to also recognize the outstanding contributions of the employees of the RBPF in 2013 and I want to again publicly offer our thanks and appreciation for the sacrifices that they have made. We believe that the majority of our officers are decent, upstanding, honest, and industrious Bahamians who are committed in the service of the citizens of this country.
Members of the press, you have carried our stories all year long and you have assisted us on occasions when we needed you most. For this, and many other courtesies, we thank you very much.
I will be happy to take your questions. Thank you.
Ellison E. Greenslade, Dr. h.c., MBA, QPM Commissioner of Police
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