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Bahamas reports 20 per cent drop in murders

Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell.

Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell.

NASSAU — Murders fell by 20 per cent between January 1 and July 11, 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to The Nassau Guardian’s records.

Up to yesterday, the murder count stood at 58 compared to the 73 murders recorded up to the same point last year.

Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell said the drop represents the largest decrease in the murder count for the year so far.

But he said more must be done to reduce crime.

Bell said he believes the decrease is the result of the police force’s increased focus on prevention rather than detection.

“So they are concentrating heavily on saturation patrols,” he said. “They are concentrating heavily on stop and searches, and they are concentrating heavily on the prolific offenders.”

Bell said the improved number of criminal cases tried so far this year may be a deterrent to crime.

“You would see that there are a number of cases that would not have normally been tried,” he said. “They are now being tried.”

However, Bell noted that there are still criminals re-offending while on bail.

As previously reported, the government is reviewing its ankle bracelets system as many criminals allegedly commit crimes while being electronically monitored.

Bell noted that many people who are given bail after being charged with violent crimes also become victims of crimes themselves. (Nassau Guardian

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