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Police Force reports 29 per cent decrease in overall serious crime

page18c101ST. KITTS--Although homicides remain a grave concern for all in the country, The High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force is reporting a 29 per cent overall drop in serious crime this year compared to the same period last year.

In his report on the crime situation in the Federation, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vaughn Henderson told the press corps at the prime minister’s monthly press conference on September 10 that the recently introduced six-point plan of action to reduce homicides and violent crimes in the Federation is working and that “the police have stepped up their efforts to combat not only crime but the fear of crime in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The ACP reported that from January to August 2014, there were 796 crimes compared to 561 crimes for the same period this year, which accounts for a 29.5 per cent decrease.

“Based on the statistics as they have been provided to me, the police are not falling short on their objectives, which is to stay below the 24 homicides that occurred last year,” said ACP Henderson, pointing out that he took no comfort in the 21 murders already committed for the year. “Our philosophy is: one homicide is one too many.”

“I am extremely optimistic as the statistics for 2013 show that in the first half of 2013 there were 18 homicides and at the end of that year the total count was 21. It says to me that we can do it again with the dedication and commitment from our security forces and 100 per cent support from the community,” he said.

According to the ACP, the first half of the year yielded 18 homicides before the introduction of the six-point action plan, but since the introduction of the plan in May of this year, there have been only three murders: one in June, none in July and two in August – a drastic reduction of three homicides in three months.

“This is a clear 66 per cent declining rate in homicides for the second half of this year to date,” he said.

As it relates to the detection rate for homicides, ACP Henderson said that four have been detected for the year and that front-line detectives are on the verge of detecting a fifth. He outlined that with seven arrests, “it would have the effect of putting our police force on par with international standards.”

ACP Henderson gave credit to the joint operations of the Police, the St. Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (SKNDF) and Customs for “stepping up on the efforts in an aggressive way to suppress violent crimes and gang activities” since the introduction of the six-point plan to combat crime.

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