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Police: Serious crimes down

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PORT-OF-SPAIN – Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams provided the media with statistics to support his claim that the country had experienced a decrease in serious crimes.
Williams, who spoke with reporters in his office at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, said it was hurtful to officers working hard to bring the crime situation under control when the facts were distorted by media reports.
His response came in the wake of a story carried by the Guardian on Monday which stated there was an increase in serious crimes.
However, Williams said there was a 15.5 per cent reduction in all serious crimes between January and August 2010, when compared to the corresponding figure last year.
Between January and August 2009, Williams said there were 14 140 serious crimes recorded, but for the same period this year, the figures were 13 655. Between June, July and August this year, there was a 23.7 per cent decrease in serious crimes.
“If we look at the figures for robberies in 2009, we had 3 940; while in 2010, the figures were 3 459 for the same period.
“Larceny of motor vehicles, 1 092 in 2009 and in 2010 we had 948 for the same period, while break-ins and burglaries, in 2009 were 3 518 and in 2010 the figures are 3 501,” Williams said.
“So there is no category of crime, highlighted by the (Guardian) reporter (on Monday) which she said had increases that we have in the total serious crimes. Not a single category we had increases in 2010, and that is what had me pissed off.”
 In June, he said, police were faced with an increase in homicides, in which 345 were recorded up to August this year while there were 353 for the same period last year; and there was a fluctuation in the figures between January and June.
“June had the highest number of homicides, which were 54, the highest figure for the entire year (in one month).
“But immediately after that, we launched an entire programme, where you saw homicides being recorded as the lowest in July month, and we went on a continuous basis up till now,” Williams said.
“Police officers have been working very hard out there and we are seeing the results.
“We are realising it for those months and on the impact on the total for the whole year. (Trinidad Express)