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Barbados’ rate of violent crime ‘the exception’ in Caribbean

GERALYN EDWARD, [email protected]

Barbados’ rate of violent crime ‘the exception’ in Caribbean

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AN INTER-AMERICAN Development Bank (IDB) study on crime says Barbados was an exception when it came to rising violent crime in the Caribbean.

In a report issued today the IDB said “Barbados seems to be the exception to the high rates of violent crime in the Caribbean region. It has one of the lowest homicide rates in Latin American and Caribbean region (11 per 100 000 in 2015), although that rate has increased in recent years.”

It added: “Victimisation rates for the five crimes measured in the survey were among the lowest in the region. However, there are two important factors to highlight: violent crime – specifically assault and threat – while low for the region have increased in the last decade and are still high compared to the international average.”

According to the IDB despite lower levels of homicide, the percentage of the population indirectly effected by violence is high.

“Barbados is at a point where anti-crime efforts (both crime prevention and control), that are evidence-based and targeted at high-risk individuals and geographic areas, could prevent higher crime rates in the future.

“A comparison of the national victimisation rates reported in 2015 with those of 2002  in Barbados shows that the percentage of the population victimised by burglary has gone down (3.2 per cent to 1.7 per cent), while rates of assaults and threats have gone up significantly (3.2 per cent to 5.1 per cent). Robbery (0.8 per cent to 1.1 per cent) and theft of personal property (2.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent) increased slightly, though not significantly. 

The Greater Bridgetown Area has some of the lowest victimisation rates for common street crimes compared to five other capital cities covered in the report. Only 3.4 per cent of residents reported being a victim of theft of personal property (stealing without violence) and 1.9 per cent of robbery (stealing with violence) in a 12-month period.  These victimisation rates were significantly lower than international averages.  Prevalence of burglary in Bridgetown (3.2  per cent) was slightly lower than Caribbean regional and international averages (4.1 and 4.5 respectively). (GE)

Download the full analysis of Barbados’ situation here.