Cop: Five of six GB murders solved

ANNUAL CRIME REPORT – Senior police officials in Grand Bahama, along with media personnel and members of the clergy gathered in the conference room of the Gerald Bartlett Police Complex Tuesday (January 8) morning, joining their counterparts in New Providence for the annual crime report and statistics, presented by the Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson and his executive team. (PHOTO: SHAYNE STUBBS)

Of the six murders recorded in Grand Bahama for 2018, five of those cases were solved, said the nation’s top cop, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson, yesterday – Tuesday, January 8.

COP Ferguson revealed the nation’s 2018 crime report and statistics via video conference from New Providence, with local media personnel gathered in the conference room at the Gerald Bartlett Police Complex.

He noted that overall, for the first time in years the national murder count for the country was not in triple digits. The national count was recorded at 91.

“Violent crimes decreased by 16 percent, while property crimes decreased by six percent. New Providence experienced a six percent decrease in crime, while the Family Islands experienced a decrease of 30 percent. Crime in Grand Bahama remained unchanged at 26 percent.

“With respect to murder, I am happier to report that for the first time since 2009, the murder count was less than 100.

“The overall incidents of murder decreased by 25 percent, with 91 incidents compared to 122 incidents in 2017. When we analyzed murder trends on a quarterly basis, we noticed some promising results,” said Ferguson.

He explained, “During the first quarter of 2018, there were 26 murders representing a decrease of 35 percent. The second quarter, there were 28 murders representing a decrease of 15 percent. The third quarter, there were 16 murders representing a decrease of 48 percent. However, in the fourth quarter, there were 21 murders that showed an increase of 17 percent.

“I wish to bring to your attention that Solvency for Murder was 73.63 percent in 2018 compared to 57.38 percent for 2017, 53.15 percent for 2016 and 46.58 percent for 2015; a notable increase.

“While we are indeed encouraged by the noted reductions in murder and other crime. I want you to know that the reductions did not happen by mere coincidence, but as a result of analyzing trends, re-focusing policing operations and developing valuable intelligence,” said Ferguson.

With respect to the confiscation of illegal firearms and ammunition off of the streets of the country, he revealed, “We seized 285 illegal firearms and 6,254 rounds of ammunition from off our streets. We know that this does not represent half of the illegal firearms that are in this country and are in the wrong hands.”

Of the 285 illegal firearms seized for the year, the majority, 34 were confiscated during the month of February, while the least were confiscated in the month of April with 13.

As for ammunition, 1,230 rounds of ammunition were removed from the streets of the Commonwealth in the month of February, while 152 rounds were recovered in the month of November.

“We continue to see significant seizures of drugs moving though The Bahamas. During 2018, DEU officers at LPIA arrested a foreign male for possession of 9.50 pounds of heroin after arriving in The Bahamas on an international flight. We uprooted marijuana fields with over 8.439 plants and seized 10,292 pounds of marijuana and 183 pounds of cocaine.

“While the seizures may not be in large quantities as decades ago, there are still persons who are using The Bahamas as transshipment points, particularly in the southern and northern Bahamas,” stated the Commissioner of Police.

He added that drug seizures in Grand Bahama remain a concern, but he is indeed confident in the extremely vibrant Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) here on the island of Grand Bahama.

Ferguson said that the team in Grand Bahama will continue to target those persons who attempt to bring illegal drugs into the country via this northern island.

“We will be aggressive. That is an objective and a mandate of the RBPF.”

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