Acting Police Commissioner, Errol Alexander, sounded a word of caution to the local media today to ensure they disseminate the right information about crime statistics, as the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, (RSLPF), announced an overall seven percent decrease in reported crime this year as compared to 2014.
The statistics were compiled during the period January to September, 2015.
“When it comes to the crime statistics I am specifically concerned that what we have seen in the past is that some media houses have taken the negatives in the crime stats and the positives are left out,” Alexander told the news conference.
He said he was aware that citizens and members of the media are wont to speak about high crime rates as a constant theme.
However Alexander asserted that when a comparison is made it may be realized that most probably an offence may be up by one percent.
“ I would be happy if the right information is given to members of the public so that persons are able to make a general assessment for themselves,” he stated, adding that when negatives are highlighted it creates fear of crime, which is worse than crime itself.
In addition to an overall seven percent drop in reported crimes, the Police also disclosed that their detection rate had gone up by two percent.
Offences against the person, summary offences and property offences accounted for most of the reported crimes – some ninety-five percent, while there was a decrease in drug offences and a reduction in homicides and murders from 23 last year to 20 this year.
The figures included fatal Police shootings – two last year and one so far this year.
The Northern zone, comprising Anse La Raye to Dennery and including Gros Islet, recorded the highest number of reported crimes which, according to the Police, dispels the notion that the Castries area is the nation’s crime hotbed.
Sexual offences recorded a slight increase – 194 cases for this year as compared to 188 last year.
The figures included an increase in rapes and indecent assault.