St. Vincent and the Grenadines registered an increase in the number of sex crimes reported in 2019.
There were increases in three of the four categories of sex crimes, with only a slight decrease in the number of cases of indecent assault reported.
Figures released by the Police Public Relations and Complaints Department on Monday showed year-on-year increases in the number of cases of unlawful sexual intercourse, rape, and incest.
Sex crime reports trended upwards even as the nation saw a reduction in the number of cases of other serious crimes, including murders.
In total, police across the country received 230 reports of sex crimes, compared to 188 in 2018.
In 2017, the number was 228, compared to 209 in 2016.
There were 79 reports of unlawful sexual intercourse (USI).
USI, commonly referred to as statutory rape, is “consensual” sexual intercourse with a girl who is under the age of consent, which, in SVG, is age 15.
The 2019 figure compares to 48 cases reported in 2018, 100 in 2017, and 105 in 2016.
Regarding rape, police received 63 reports — 21 more than in 2018.
In 2017, the number of reported cases or rape stood at 32, while the figure was 37 in 2016.
There were eight reported cases of incest, three more than in 2018, when there was the same number of cases as in 2017. In 2016, there were two reported cases of incest.
Indecent assault was the only sex crime that saw a decrease in the number of reported cases in 2019.
This year, the number fell to 80, down from
93 in 2018.
The 2018 figure was two cases less than in 2017, when there was a spike over the previous year’s figure: 65.
At the annual police awards dinner in Kingstown on Friday, Commissioner of Police Colin John has commended the rank and file of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force for a decline in reported crime in 2019.
The police chief quoted and gave to the media statistics showing that in 2019 there were 19 murders, down from 34 in 2018 and 40 in 2017.
The country, however, recorded some 24 homicides this year, including the death of Arnotte Hope, 58, of Pole Yard, who died on Saturday, one day after the police chief’s speech.
There was a reduction in the other categories of serious crimes also, with the number of reported robberies standing at 94, down from 135 in 2018, which had represented an almost doubling of the 71 recorded in 2017.
The 12 cases of wounding with intent reported in 2019 were less than half of the 26 reported in 2018, and about one-third of the 34 cases reported in 2017.
And, in 2019, there were 21 reported cases of aggravated burglary, compared to 37 in 2018 and 32 in 2017.