BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - FOLLOWING the peace initiative introduced earlier this year, Acting Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy said it has resulted in a significant reduction in homicides, non-fatal shooting and robberies.
Brandy made this announcement at a press conference held at the Police Training School on Tuesday (Aug. 13).
He pointed out that the results of the initiative have so far been clear, noting that an examination of the period January 1 to August 12 over the past three years showed a steady decline in non-fatal shooting and robberies.
“Where homicide is concerned, there was one incident in 2018 that was over 2017. However, the decline has been more noticeable over the past nine months in all three categories. To date, there has been a 25 percent reduction in homicide, with the last gang-related one having occurred in February. There were 16 homicides for the same period in 2018, while in 2019 we have recorded only 12.
“Non-fatal shooting has decreased by 30 percent; that is from 23 in 2018 to 18 this year. A decline of seven percent in robberies has also been registered. In 2018 there were 28 reported robberies, while in 2019 there were 26. So, as of August 12, 2019, there were 844 reported crimes overall; a comparison of 1, 101 in 2017 and 1, 171 in 2018. This gives us a reduction of 327 crimes or 28 percent of reported crimes for 2019 so far.”
The Commissioner (Ag) stated that when considering the period – March 1 to August 12, 2019 – of the ongoing initiative, homicides have reduced by 71 percent, with 15 in 2017, 14 in 2018 and four in 2019.
He continued: “Non-fatal shooting has been reduced by 70 percent, having recorded 27 in 2017, 23 in 2018 and seven in 2019. While the area of robberies still remains a concern, there has been a seven percent reduction - 36 incidents being reported in 2017, 28 in 2018 and 26 in 2019.”
Brandy intoned that there is no single solution or quick fix in addressing crime, but stressed that the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force would continue to utilise several approaches and work tirelessly to maintain peace in the twin-island Federation.
“We only ask that each individual play a role in getting us to where we would like to be. If you see something, still say something and work with us for the good of the country,” he added.
In his closing remarks, the Acting Commissioner thanked all those who were instrumental in the peace initiative that resulted in gang members handing over 30 illegal firearms and 73 rounds of assorted ammunition to the police.
“I extend heartfelt thanks to the officers and civilians who have been a part of this most recent effort. Your assistance has been a tremendous value to our nation and its citizens.”