Projection: sharp decline in armed robberies

POSTED: 08/7/14 12:10 AM

St. Maarten – The crime figures for the first four months of the year are looking relatively good. Extrapolated for the whole year, they show a sharp decline in armed robberies – after murder the most unsettling crimes the island experiences every year. This appears from data compiled by the police force.

Compared to the disastrous year 2011, when the police recorded 296 armed robberies, the number dropped to 111 in 2014 – again based on an extrapolation of the data for the first four months. This would be a decline of 62.5 percent. In 2012, the number of robberies already declined to 199 and last year there were 160.

Burglaries also are on the decline. From the shy high number of 667 in 2010, home burglaries dropped to 249 this year (minus 62.7 percent. This decline began in 2011 (519 home burglaries) and continued in 2012 (366) and 2013 (307).

Burglaries at businesses dropped by 65.3 percent from 199 in 2010 to 69 this year – around the same number as in 2013. Car theft is also going down – from 253 in 2010 to 138 this year, slightly below the 154 car thefts of last year. Breaking in cars dropped from 258 last year to 126.

There is only a (projected) sharp rise in ordinary theft from 380 to 468 (plus 23.1 percent). With this number, theft rises slightly above the 2010 level of 462.

With one murder – the shooting of Denynaida Feyenete on March 18 in Dutch Quarter, the projection is that the year will close with 3 murders, on a par with 2013, bur far below the previous years when 7 (2010), 18 (2011), and 10 (2012) people were murdered.

Attempted murders are projected to be 15, the highest number in the past five years. In this category, 2011 showed the lowest score with 9 attempted murders.

A worrisome trend is the development of threats and ill-treatment. With 237 reported cases, ill-treatment recorded the highest number of the past five years. Since the relatively mild year of 2011 in this respect (with 148 cases), ill-treatment has gradually become worse, with 210 cases in 2012, 225 in 2013 and now 237 expected for this year.

Threat are projected to reach 201 cases, an increase of 27 (15.5 percent) over last year, but below the top year 2012 (219). Ill-treatment with a weapon, a hot topic in 2010 with 89 cases, dropped to a projected 39 this year.

Swindling is also on the way down, with 30 cases projected compared to 41 last year and 43 in 2012.

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