The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has reported a reduction in crimes committed in the country during the first half of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.
According to Officer in Charge of Crime, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Trevor Modeste, the first half of the year saw a total of 8582 crimes reported as compared to 9870 that were recorded in 2016.
In providing an update on the crime situation at a press conference held at Police Headquarters on Fort George last week Friday, ACP Modeste disclosed that the first three months of the year saw an 10% increase in reported crimes but an overall decrease of 13%.
He reported a “29%” reduction in rape cases with 32 being recorded for the first half of the year, compared to 45 cases that were recorded in 2016”.
The first half of the year saw a “32.9%” increase in indecent assault cases (90) recorded in 2017 as compared to 70 in 2016.
According to ACP Modeste, there is a 19.4% decrease in reported crimes of housebreaking and stealing, with 154 cases recorded during the first half of the year compared to the 191 that were reported last year.
He also pointed to a 16. 7% decrease in murders committed, with a total of 5 recorded in 2017 compared to 6 recorded in 2016 and a 90.5% decrease in reported cases of stealing by reason of employment.
ACP Modeste said, while “harm offenses, property crimes and sexual offenses” continue to be areas of serious concern, there has been a “general decrease” in crimes in these areas with a solving rate at “73%.”
He said the reduction in the crime indicates that the public has been adhering to the tips and guidelines that have been provided by the police.
Also addressing the press conference was the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Superintendant Earl Dunbar, who used the opportunity to reiterate some crime prevention tips in light of the increased expectancy of crimes such as house breaking and stealing, which he said are likely to happen around the Carnival season.
In terms of home security, Supt Dunbar urged persons to not leave their keys in regular places such as under “flower pots, door mats, ledges or on top of doors” and to “ensure that all doors and windows are closed so that it becomes a hard target for persons to enter”.
“We do not want you to leave large sums of money home…I think it’s a good time for persons who have alarm systems installed in their properties to ensure that it is properly working so that in the event that they become a victim, that in itself can assist us (with investigations at CID),” he remarked.
With the influx of visitors to the island during the festive season, the senior police officer also urged businesses to “carry minimum cash, engage patrons who visit their business places (and) to ensure that they conceal cash when making deposits so that persons don’t get a sense that they are going to deposit money”.
“Do not allow them to come in there (your business place) and practically just scope your business, engage them immediately, ask whether you can assist and in so doing you must watch them directly in their eye,” he said.
He added that “thieves operate in groups of two or more,” and may try to use this as a distracting strategy.
“So whenever you see an individual, please engage them,” he said.
Referencing the occurrence of crimes that could have been avoided in the past due to the negligence of some vehicle owners, Supt. Dunbar encouraged persons to find another safe place to put away their valuables.
“Avoid transferring your valuables (cell phones, tablets, laptops et cetera, at the location) where the vehicle is to be parked (because you never know who is looking around (and) you can become a victim by that,” he warned.
He also urged the public to be on guard against counterfeit notes that may be floating around, especially during the festive season.
Assistant Superintendent of Police in Charge of the Traffic, (ASP) Linford Kingston briefed reporters about an increase in accidents on the nation’s road network.
The first half of 2017 recorded a total of “1045 accidents,” compared to 898 recorded in 2016, with a decline in fatalities for the same period.
He said that during the January to June 2017 period, there was a total of 3 fatalities as compared to 6 in the corresponding period for last year.
A total of 61 serious accidents were recorded in the same period this year compared to 39 in 2016.
There was a total of 981 minor accidents recorded for the same period this year, compared to a total of 891 in 2016.
He also reported an increase of foreign drivers on the nation’s road pointing to the 208 temporary licenses sold from July 1 to August 8.
ACP Kingston also reminded motorists of the speed limit to be applied on the nation’s roads.
“For vehicles with the registration numbers that starts with ‘P’ the maximum speed limit is 40 miles per hour. For those that begin with ’T’ and ‘H’ the maximum speed limit is 35 miles per hour,” he said.
The Traffic Chief reaffirmed that his department will continue in its quest to improve the country’s traffic managing system.
Additionally, the RGPF has partnered with petroleum provider SOL to provide road safety bumper stickers for distribution to motorists across the island.
These stickers were presented to ASP Linford during last week Friday’s press conference by Sales Representative at SOL, Kesha Noel-Charles.