There is a slight reduction in the number of criminal matters that were reported to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda for the first quarter of 2018. However, the police are still concerned about an increase in traffic accidents and fires.
The statistics were shared with reporters during a news conference held at the Police Headquarters Tuesday morning.
According to Atley Rodney, Acting Commissioner of Police, during the period of January 2017 to April 2017, 900 crimes were reported to the police, while 707 were reported so far for January to April 2018.
These offences include: break-in, attempted break-in, burglary, break-in and larceny, larceny, praedial larceny, wounding, assault, murder, attempted murder, attempted suicide, suicide, malicious damage, rape, attempted rape, buggery, indecent assault, indecent exposure, unlawful sexual intercourse, serious indecency, incest, and arson among others.
“There were general examples in most areas, such as larceny, 84 less at this time; break-in and larceny, 20 less; indecent assault, eight less than last year. There were slight increases in certain crimes which are of concern to the police. These include murder moving from four for this same period last year to six this year and two additional cases of rape,” Rodney said.
Rape increased from seven in the first four months of 2017 to nine, so far, in 2018.
Praedial larceny jumped from five in 2017 to 16 reports for the first four months this year.
Meanwhile, the traffic department recorded a total 770 vehicular accidents in the first four months of 2017 and three road fatalities and so far, this year, 926 accidents with one fatality have been reported..
“This increase is not only within the city limits but the out districts. We have to appeal to the drivers to be more careful and to respect the rules of the road. The police are taking measures to address this trend,” Rodney told reporters, adding that the numbers are increasing despite an increase in public education.
The Fire Department also had its hands full for the period January to April 2018. It responded to 83 fires – 46 were bush fires, 25 house fires and 12 involved vehicles.
Around this same period last year, a total of 65 fires were recorded – 41 bush fires, 13 vehicular fires and 11 house fires.
At the start of the year, Head of the Traffic Department Inspector Elson Quammie noted that several measures would be taken to reduce the number of accidents recorded annually, including the arrest and the revocation of driver’s licenses.
Acting Commissioner Rodney said these measures will be continued throughout the rest of the year.