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RGPF says homicides remain an area of concern

With the exception of homicides and praedial larceny cases, the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) reported a contraction in “almost all category of crimes” for the period January to June 2020.

During a media conference on Wednesday, Acting Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin shared statistics for 2018, 2019 and 2020..

For Harm offences (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, maiming, wounding, causing harm, grievous harm, etc.), there was a 15.5% contraction in reported crimes over a 19.4% contraction over 2018 and 2019 accumulatively.

Martin said “the incidence of homicides remains a critical concern for the RGPF. This is one of two categories that is showing an increase in this category of harm offences.”

Murder has increased by 42.9% in 2020 over 66.7% from 2018-2020.

10 murders were recorded at the end of June and that number has since moved to 13 to date (12 murders and 1 case the cause of death is to be determined). The Commissioner (Ag) reported that five murders occurred at dwelling houses, eight at public spaces with offensive weapons (such as knives, and cutlasses) as the instruments in six of those cases.

He pointed out that the main cause of homicide is conflict suggesting that anger management and conflict resolution need to be considered.

As it relates to Sexual crimes, there was a reduction of 31.7% in 2020 compared to 40.1% over the two previous years. The main age range is persons under 13 and between 13 and 16.

Commissioner Martin noted that there is a recorded 66% increase in persons under 13 years, as he referenced on Monday a 68-year-old was charged with raping a 9-year-old.

There was however a reduction in the number of victims as in 2018, 151 victims were recorded; 2019 – 130 and first half of 2020 – 80.

Martin thus urged persons to use the Police 400 hotline number to report cases or suspected cases of abuse.

For the category of White Collar crimes (Forgery, fraud, false pretense, embezzlement, etc.), there was a reduction of 15% in 2020 over an accumulative 75.7%.

Property crimes (including burglary, house breaking, stealing from a dwelling house, arson, trespassing, and praedial larceny) saw an increaseof 14.1% in 2020 over a 3.8% increase over 2018 and 2019.

Commissioner Martin pointed out that while there has been a reduction in the general categories for property crimes; there has been an increase in housebreaking (increase of 22.8% in 2020 over 41.3% since 2018) and praedial larceny (increased by 28% in 2020 and 48% since 2018).

He said this indicates that the police need to revisit its strategies to develop closer working relations with farmers and other stakeholders and ensure greater patrol and response mechanism.

Drug offenses have seen a contraction of 5.6% since 2019 and from 2018-2020, a contraction of 20.2%.

Weapon offenses has seen a reduction of 14% but an increase accumulatively of 43.6% in the area of offensive weapons.

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