Crime down in Antigua
St. John’s — Despite widespread perception that criminal activity was on the rise in 2012, police statistics indicate that, in reality, crime decreased by six per cent.
In the first week of the New Year, Strategic Communications Officer, Corporal Frankie Thomas revealed that reports of criminal activity fell from 2,645 in 2011 to 2,490 for last year.
Thomas said the drop was a testament of good policing.
“It is an indication that the police have stepped up their patrols and have gotten more involved in the fight against crime and criminal activity,” Thomas declared.
Among the list of offences recorded, incidences of break-in and larceny, larceny and unlawful sexual intercourse decreased, while the number of robberies and rape increased in 2012.
Break-in and larceny decreased by eight per cent, from a high of 812 in 2011 to 742 last year.
The occurrence of larcenies also fell in 2012 with a drop from 892 to 843. Reports of unlawful sexual intercourse declined to 15 from 20 in 2011.
“I’m not surprised as such, because of the measures that were put in place… Although we would have loved to have seen the number decrease a lot more it is an encouragement to continue the fight against crime,” the PRO said.
The prevalence of robberies across the nation showed a significant increase, according to the officer. There was a significant increase of 15 per cent in such crimes- from 742 in 2011 to 812 in 2012.
“The increase in the reports of robberies is a cause of some concern for the police and is something we have to take a closer look at with a view and an intention to reduce that number significantly,” Thomas said.
To aid in curtailing the upward robbery trend, the corporal appealed to residents to be “mindful” of their surroundings and be more vigilant as they travel – especially in the evening.
The murder rate remained unchanged from that of 2011, with nine murders being reported. The latest occurrence was that of food vendor, Michael Adams-Medica who was shot as he worked on Independence Drive, on December 30.
However, Thomas found no solace in the fact that the murder rate remained constant, saying: “One murder is one too many.” (Antigua Observer)