Crime increased by nine percent in the first six months of the year, according to statistics released Friday by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
In the serious crimes category, sexual offenses saw the highest spike, jumping to 21 percent. Firearm-related offenses, which include gun-related murders, also saw a sharp increase of eight percent.
Sergeant Kimroy Renee of Central Intelligence Unit (CIU) told the media that the bulk of the analysis was done between January 1 and June 30, 2015, but data for homicides were extended to August 13.
The total number of crimes committed was 10,320 compared to 9,401 in 2014.
Despite this troubling figure, Renee said the detection rate has increased from 52 percent last year to 56 percent this year.
While an analysis was done based on three districts, mainly the North, South and Central parts of the island, the northern district recorded the highest increase in crimes.
Fifteen homicides were recorded so far this year, compared to 23, in the same period last year.
Crimes against persons increased by 15 percent, while drug offenses increased by a massive 32 percent.
There were also increases in attempted murders and grievous harm, while possession firearm and ammunition cases saw another increase.
On the flip side, there was a 41 percent decrease in offenses against property.
Renee said the force has recognized that firearm seems to be the weapon of choice used in gang rivalry and a number of homicides, which police plans to tackle.
He also disclosed that 73 percent of the homicide victims, in the first half of this year, are male and almost 70 percent fall between the ages of 15 and 30 years.
“So it shows we have a problem with our youth. We will implement strategies to mitigate this problem,” he added.