Low crime in the FalklandsChief of Police Barry Marsden told regional journalists on a one week tour that the crime rate is extremely low.
By Carol Martindale | Sat, October 06, 2012 - 2:09 PM
While many Caribbean countries are grappling with spiralling crime, The Falkland Islands can easily boast that this is not a big issue for them.
Chief of Police Barry Marsden told regional journalists on a one week tour that the crime rate is extremely low.
"The reality is we don't have murders for years and years, we don't have burglaries, we don't have violence of any great extreme, we don't robberies, " he said.
He quoted statistics from the year which starts from July to June, showing that common assaults were 19; theft (minor), 19; criminal danger, 18; driving over the prescribed limit, 16.
Marsden noted that the number of crimes reported to the police for the entire year was 124, compared to the previous year when it was 149.
He said of the 124 crimes, 14 remain as current, still under investigation, two are classed as no crime, , and 19 classed as undetected. He added that 82.7 per cent of all crimes in The Falkland Islands have been solved..
Crime, he said, was down by 17 per cent.
"What is encouraging is that the crimes we have seen decreasing are the crimes like taking someone's car without consent, there have also been no burglaries this year. So this is good news. What is good news as well is that the types of offences reported us, like the sexual offences and rapes are on the increase and that is indicative of the fact the public has confidence in our ability to investigate it," he added.
The recent census survey, he said, revealed that public confidence in the police force had increased to 83 per cent. This was from a sample size of about 500 people.
"We have come a long way in the last two to three years tackling lots of issues," he said.
The top cop, who took up his position in January on a three-year contract, also revealed that they have four people who are currently in prison. These people, he noted, were serving lengthy prison sentences for child abuse, the longest being 13 years.
He said the cases of child abuse they were investigating were sexual which occurred over the years.
"The public has seen how we deal with child abuse and thy have the confidence in us and therefore they are coming out and making revelations and disclosure and now we are seeing more and more people coming forward," he said.
Marsden said the prison has a capacity to hold ten people, and is equipped to handle both males and females. The most in prison at any time to date, has been six.
At present, the oldest prisoner is in his 60s, while the others are in the 20s.
"The reason the prison population consists of people convicted of child abuse is because you don't see the other offences you would see in another society" he added.
Marsden, who also has responsibility for the prison, fire and rescue, Customs and Immigration and The Falkland Islands Defence force of 80, said after prisoners are released there is no hostility from the public.
"It is an interesting community in that when prisoners are released no matter what crime they have committed, there is no hostility towards prisoners. People believe they have done their time. They have completed their sentence and, therefore, they are free people to go about their daily lives," he said.
The police chief said he witnessed this first hand a few months ago with someone who was in custody. "The day he was released, he was in the pub where he was playing pool and everyone was chatting with him," he recalled.
Marsden also said there was the system in place for prisoners to make complaints, adding these were thoroughly investigated.
According to the police chief, the only complaint they had in the last few years related to food.
"It was just that they wanted a menu as opposed to being given no choice. We rectified that and now, the prisoners have options," he said.
- Editor's Choice