Armed robberies, murders on the rise – police

There has been a 12% increase in armed robberies and a 3% increase in murders over the first eight months of the year.

This is according to the police force, which on Wednesday released statistics for murder, robbery under arms and traffic offences for the period January 1 to August 31, 2011, with corresponding statistics for the same period last year.

Robbery under arms increased by 12%, with 548 reports up to August 31 this year in comparison with 488 for the same period last year, the police said. Police added that while the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms was almost similar during the corresponding periods, “there has been 48% increase in armed robberies where instruments other than firearms were used by the perpetrators.”

Police reported an increase of 3% in murders, with 91 murders recorded at the end of August this year, compared with 88 for the same period last year. Thirty-one of the murders committed this year have been of the “disorderly type,” 18 were the result of domestic issues, 17 occurred during armed robberies and five were “execution-type.”

In relation to traffic, there have been four more road fatalities up to the end of August this year, in comparison to the same period last year. There were 79 road deaths this year compared with 75 last year. Out of this number, eight children have lost their lives in comparison with five last year.

It was pointed out by police that pedestrians and pedal cyclists are the two main categories of road users affected, with 31 persons and 16 persons, respectively, losing their lives. Speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are the major causes of the fatal accidents.

According to the police, the force is maintaining its rigid enforcement towards road safety, along with the use of breathalyzers and radar guns. At the end of August this year, a total of 42,494 cases were made against errant motorists. Of this total, 8,859 cases were for speeding and 743 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Along with enforcement of the laws, emphasis is also being placed on traffic education and with the opening of schools the police traffic department will be holding its lecture at schools. There will also be visible patrols in school areas, police added.

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