By Shermain Bique-Charles
Comparatively speaking, criminal activities in Antigua and Barbuda have shown a slight decrease for the first three months of the year, but the Police Commissioner said the overall numbers are too high to celebrate.
Quoting the quarterly statistics, Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney reported that the number of crimes was 33 less than during the same period last year.
“When we compared the numbers to the first quarter of last year, we had 619 crimes reported and now we have 586,” he said.
Acquisition crimes, or theft, accounted for the bulk of criminal activities during the first quarter of the year with 136 incidents reported.
“It’s a nice way to say stealing, so we have things like larceny, break-ins, robbery, fraudulent conversion — all these things where you take people’s stuff from them,” Rodney explained.
For the period under review, there were 208 offences of larceny and 136 break-ins.
“When you add up all the crimes, that is where the concerns are. That is where I need to ask the public to be vigilant because if you have 586 crimes reported and 468 are acquisition crimes, it shows close to 80 percent has to do with stealing,” he said.
Rodney said law enforcement have noticed that these crimes are often as a result of residents having a careless attitude towards their property. “Unfortunately, because of that, persons are taking advantage,” he said.
In the area of traffic collisions, there was also a reduction, according to Rodney, with 534 reported this year, compared to 676 last year.
“So, there is improvement in that area and the overall report of crime for that period…we are doing good,” Rodney said.
He said serious crimes appeared to be on the decline too.
The top cop also responded to claims of unreported crimes, saying, “we can only tabulate what is reported to any and every police station and we cannot account for that”.
Rodney also advised people against using the media to make criminal reports, something he said appears to be popular in Antigua and Barbuda.