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Murders hit 405, but TTPS boasts of Lowest serious crimes in 29 years
Despite an increase in the homicide rate as compared to 2012, the police say this country has recorded its lowest serious crime figure in 29 years. Speaking at the weekly press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, public information officer ASP Joanne Archie said the decrease in serious crimes overall had been the lowest the TTPS had ever seen.
Using statistics to bolster her claim, Archie said police had seen a 28 per cent reduction in serious crimes. She said serious crimes included: rapes and other sexual offences, kidnappings, burglaries and breakings, robberies, larcenies and road traffic accidents. With the murder toll at 405 for the year compared to 379 last year, Archie said the TTPS “had our challenges as it relate to homicides for the year 2013.”
She added that for 2014 the TTPS remained committed to reducing the homicide rate and increasing the detection rate. The 405 murder toll is six beyond the projected figure of acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, who at a breakfast meeting on December 10 calculated the murder toll would end at 399, with 12,835 serious crimes reported at year’s end. Williams’ projected serious-crime figure was 35 less than the recorded figure of 12,800 for 2013.
“What is significant as it relates to serious crimes, for the year 2013, which recorded 12,800 serious crimes, (is that) this figure represents the largest decrease in our organisation’s history. It is the lowest record for the past 29 years,” Archie said. Archie said in 1984 the figure was 11,725, while in 1985 it was 13,797. She added that in 2012 there were 17,840 serious crimes and in 2013 there were 12,800, a reduction of 5,000. This figure, she said, bypassed that of 2011, which saw 15,877 crimes.
In 2011, there was a State of Emergency for four months which had a positive impact on the number of crimes reported for that year. The Police Service did not give any statistics of its detection rate in any category.
Reduction in serious crimes
• Rapes and other sexual offences: down by 42 per cent
• Kidnappings down by 41 per cent
• Burglaries and break-ins 33 per cent
• Robberies down by 34 per cent
• Larcenies down by 29 per cent
• Fatal road accidents (150) down by 24 per cent and a 16 per cent decrease in overall accidents
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