by Donella Hosten
On Wednesday 31 May 2017, the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) held a media briefing to inform the nation of the number of reported crimes for the first quarter of the year.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin said this is the first time the RGPF is embarking on such an initiative, and they will continue to provide quarterly reviews of reported crimes. It is their hope that this will “improve transparency and accountability and engender greater public support in the fight against crime.”
Additionally, “we believe the initiative may also contribute to eliminating the space for unwanted speculations and erroneous estimates.”
The report looked at the first quarter of 2017 and compared it to the same period in 2016.
According to Deputy Commissioner Martin, the number of reported cases can be considered to be stable, even though there is a 10% increase.
In 2016 there was a total of 4,055 reported cases and 4,466 in 2017. Of the 411 cases increase, 319 are offences relating to insulting language, common assaults and threats.
Martin commended the force’s solving and detection rate of 73%, as a result of the officers’ “outstanding efforts” to ensure persons committing these crimes are brought to justice.
The number of sexual crimes also showed an increase from 77 to 117; 48% of which is associated with indecent assault.
There was also in an increase in incest crimes (from 3 to 10 reports), while the number of persons having sex with persons under the age of 13, rose from 9 to 18 reports.
While numbers appear small, they are significant to the RGPF given the potential impact these crimes can have on the victims. Martin noted that statistics have shown that adults over the age of 30 are the main perpetrators of these crimes.
Another major concern highlighted was stealing crimes. This, he stated has the highest number of reports, and is the most difficult to solve. Reports in common stealing increased from 498 to 504, while housebreaking and stealing went increased from 56 to 66 reports.
With regards to stealing crimes, Martin indicated that the majority of the times these crimes occurred when persons failed to take the necessary precautions to secure their belongings.
He briefly made mention of praedial larceny, reports of which increased from 128 to 148. A major concern for farmers, the RGPF will “make a concerted effort to partner with farmers and other members of the communities” to deal ith this issue.
For 2017 thus far, causing harm figures has decreased slightly from 357 to 343 reports. However, Martin believes that this figure is still too high, and urged the public to find other ways to resolve their issues instead of resorting to violence and to avoid travelling with offensive weapons.
The RGPF has pledged to do what they can to reduce and curb these offences, through increased proactive measures, and intensified efforts with stakeholders. They also intend to have more of a social media presence, making full use of the evolving technologies. “Crime has a national impact, and therefore requires a national response,” Martin added. Police will be using a technique known as “problem-solving policing,” which identifies the problem, analyses the cause and partners with the necessary stakeholders who can assist with resolution.