By Latrishka Thomas
The Covid-19 pandemic appears to have had a positive impact on the realm of criminal activity in Antigua and Barbuda, since the police have recorded 483 less crimes thus far for the year 2020 than the same period last year.
“We have seen a drastic reduction in basically most areas of crime. Looking at our statistics for the first nine months in comparison to what we had in 2019, there has been a reduction. In terms of overall crimes for that period, 2019, we had 2,216 reports for crimes. As we stand at the end of September  we have 1,733,” Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney disclosed at a press conference yesterday morning.
Rodney admitted, however, that more than three times as may murders have been committed this year.
“There are two areas where we have seen a slight increase when it comes to crimes. In the area of murder, at that stage last year we had two and this year we have seven,” he stated.
Three of those murder investigations – that of Troy Baptiste, Dave Anthony and Nigel Christian – are still ongoing as no arrests have been made.
The top cop added that there have also been four more robberies this year than last year.
But he noted that crimes in many other areas of interest to the public have seen a decline.
They include unlawful sexual intercourse, rape, wounding, sacrilege, breaking and entering, larceny, pradeial larceny, malicious damage, shooting, shooting with intent, and fraud.
Small charges such as battery, assault, threatening language, annoyance and trespassing where “reports are made at every police station”, have also seen a reduction.
Also, 24 firearms have been recovered this year while 27 were recovered around the same period in 2019, Rodney added.
Meanwhile, 291 persons have thus far been arrested for failing to comply with the mandatory curfew restrictions in Antigua, while 24 persons were arrested for the same offence in Barbuda.