PHOTO: “...There were a lot of what we would consider hits and misses in 2017 but generally we are confident that if we persist and stick to the plan, we would continue to see results.”-Police Commissioner Ian Queeley at press conference this week (Spokesman Snap)

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts- Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley has revealed that robberies and malicious damage are of great concern.

He made the disclosure in providing an overview of the major crime statistics for 2017 with comparative analysis with 2016 during a press conference held on Tuesday this week (16th January) at the Police Training Complex in Newtown.

“Robberies and malicious damage… those crimes were that of major concern to us. We have increase in malicious damage with 23 crimes or 46 per cent over the year and 26 per cent in the robberies, and this, I must say is of great concern for us,” he shared.

As gathered from the police’s preliminary data, there were 57 recorded robberies in 2016 and 81 in 2017. Also, for 2016, 169 cases were recorded and 213 in 2017 which shows an increase of 44 cases.

COP Queeley touched on the outlook to tackle this matter saying: “Where the robberies are concerned, these were crimes of opportunities and a number of businesses and persons who have been victims of these unscrupulous individuals in our society, we plan for this coming year, to focus in large measure in this area and treat it as a matter of urgency and we recognise also that persons may not be aware how to entirely secure their homes or business places and as such we will continue to offer our daily tips via the media.”

He continued: “We are also encouraging persons to take advantage of the government’s offer to allow them to purchase surveillance devices- alarms and other related equipment all duty free to enhance the security of their business places or premises.”

Addressing the issue of malicious damage, the top cop said: “As far as malicious damage to property is concerned, several involve the mentally ill persons who having been in their moment continue to cause destruction to persons’ vehicles and property and also by bandits who try to steal from persons’ vehicles and in the process cause damage to them.”
Police preliminary figures have shown that for larcenies, there has been an increase from 390 in 2016 to 414 in 2017.

Notably, COP Queeley, at the start of highlighting the numerical information, outlined that there were decreases in the murder and manslaughter offenses in 2017 from 31 in 2016 to 23 which was down by 26 per cent.

Additionally, he said that there was decrease in the number of shooting at with intent committed with 26 in 2016 to 17 in 2017, reduced by 35 per cent.

He said attempted murder decreased as well with 28 in 2017 as compared with 37 in 2016, down by 24 per cent.

According to him, there was also a significant decrease in cases of wounding with intent with the use of firearm and a slight decrease of 2 per cent both sexual related crimes and break-ins.

In regard to sex crimes, police preliminary figures reveal that 53 incidents were recorded in 2016 and 52 in 2017 while break-ins saw 415 recorded cases in 2016 and 407 in 2017.
Pertaining to wounding (with firearms), there was a 20 per cent decrease with 5 recorded incidents in 2016 and 4 in 2017.

Additionally, in terms of firearms removed from communities, Queeley said 30 per cent increase was recorded which were 47 in 2017 as compared with 36.