By Royston Jones Jr.
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Murders in The Bahamas increased by 36 percent between January 1 and April 5, 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.
There were 22 murders recorded during this period last year compared to the 30 murders recorded this year so far, according to The Guardian’s records.
A closer look at the figures show that 11 people were murdered in January; eight in February; eight in March and three so far this month.
The murder count does not include several matters that have yet to be classified, including four bodies found last Thursday on Anguilla Cay. The bodies had tires placed on top of them and were burnt beyond recognition, according to authorities.
There have been seven murders in the country since last Saturday. The most recent killings took place over the weekend.
Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade
Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said last week violent crimes with the exception of murder have trended downward.
He was unable to provide the percentage representing that decrease and to date has not released crime statistics for 2014.
Asked about the crimes on Grand Bahama after three murders occurred in fewer than 48-hours, Greenslade said there were “no concerns”.
“Grand Bahama has recorded murders in recent times,” he told reporters at Police Headquarters. “Two people have been arrested in two of those separate murder cases.
“In one case the weapon was recovered. There is an outstanding retaliatory matter that is being pursued where another person has lost his life.
“[But] I am satisfied that good work is being done in Grand Bahama, and we will see if we can sort those things out as soon as we can.”
Following a spate of murders late last month, Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government will dedicate more resources to law enforcement and social intervention programs.
“I am continuing to dedicate resources to the police force because I intend to smother, to smother and suffocate this bad behaviour,” he said.
“At the same time [I will] continue to dedicate resources to holistic programs of Urban Renewal where in the big sense of the word we are able to deal with kids in their environment as we find them.”
That pledge has been made several times since the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) took office in May 2012, which was the bloodiest month on record with 21 murders.
Last month, the government announced plans to introduce two initiatives -- violence breakers and a program called shock treatment -- to its Operation Ceasefire plan in a bid to lower crime.
However, opposition Free National Movement (FNM) leader Dr Hubert Minnis said last week that crime is “smothering” the nation despite the prime minister’s repeated statements that his government will arrest the problem.
Minnis said the PLP is “long on talk but short on action” when it comes to crime.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian