Statistics produced by the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has indicated a three percent increase in crime.
Head of the Crime Intelligence Unit, Inspector Eddie Monlouis, told reporters during the police commissioner’s quarterly press conference on July 17, that the statistic represent the period January to May 2014.
Monlouis said a total of 8,624 crimes were reported island-wide, which represents the three per cent increase. He said 61 of those reports were deemed false following preliminary investigations.
“It is a negligible number,” Monlouis added.
He said 8,560 reports were accepted and 50 per cent of those reports have been detected thus far.
“When we view the distribution of the major categories of crime, 49 per cent represent summary offenses, 27 offenses against property and 20 percent crime against persons.”
Although there was a 12 per cent decrease in property crime, it is still a major concern for the police department.
“Far too many St. Lucians leave their homes, go to work every day, only to return home to find that their properties have been violated. This is of concern to the police department and I suppose it is for all St. Lucians because the 27 per cent can be translated into 15 properties being violated every day for the period January to May 2014,” he added.
Meanwhile, the number of homicides – when compared to the same period last year – remains the same. There were 13 homicides, 12 murders and one police shooting.
“If we include the two murders in June and the four in July then this would increase the number of murders in the city area to 10 out of 20,” Monlouis pointed out.
There were five murders in the central sector, five in the northern sector and two in the southern sector. Five out of the 10 murders occurred in the city area.
Eight of these involved the use of firearms and five using blunt instruments. All murder victims were male and 42 per cent were between the ages of 21 and 30. Statistics also revealed that seven out of the 11 suspects of murder cases thus far, are also within the same age range.
“It simply means that our youth do not know how to settle disputes anymore. Society has to play a greater role in helping young people manage their anger and settle dispute amicably,” the official added.
The detection rate for murder stands at seven, which represents over 50 per cent of the total number of cases.
Meanwhile, 52 per cent of offenses against persons have been detected. Most of the cases relating to offenses against people were recorded in the category of wounding. This figure stands at 345. The police have detected at least 50 per cent of those offenses.
On the other hand, firearm offenses saw an increase of 28 per cent, moving from 53 cases in 2013 to 68 cases this year, during the same period. The police have detected 71 per cent of those offenses, representing a significant increase over last year.
Sexual offenses saw a slight decrease by one per cent, but there has been a significant increase in the detection rate of 63 per cent.
There was also a slight decrease in drug-related offenses and a decrease in the number of cases detected. Some 255.957 kilograms of marijuana were intercepted by police, while 17,000 marijuana plants were uprooted. They police seized a small quantity of cocaine during this period.
A majority of drug offenses involved citizens here. However three citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines were arrested and charged for drug possession.