Two months without a homicide while rape figures rise!

For the first time in fifteen years there were no homicides for the month of January. And now another month has passed without a reported homicide. The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force is scanning its logs to determine when was the last time that there were no homicides in January and February, to no avail.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Frances Henry speaking at a news conference on Tuesday.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Frances Henry speaking at a news conference on Tuesday.

In 2014 there were 34 homicides compared to 36 the previous year and an all time high of 52 in 2011. This week the RSLPF, through its press relations officer, Zachary Hippolyte, thanked the public for its increased efforts in resolving issues without violence. He also pointed to the RSLPF community relations efforts and thanked the public for working with the police in combating crime on the whole.

But while that was good news for the nation, it was not without its dark cloud. During a press conference on Tuesday, deputy police commissioner Frances Henry revealed that so far this year there have been nine “alleged rapes”, the latest on Sunday at Lastic Hill in Castries. The deputy PC told reporters there is now an active investigation of the recent rape of the mother of two. After the brutal assault, the perpetrator fled the scene. His victim collapsed near a neighbor’s house. She was later taken to hospital by the police.

Eight of the reported rapes this year were committed in the north of the island, several near Beausejour.

Henry on Tuesday told reporters that two suspects had been arrested in relation to two separate incidents. “The remaining six cases are being actively pursued,” she said.

“For us we are continuing with due diligence and we would like to speak to persons out there, who may have witnessed some of these incidents, and without someone stepping up and coming out and saying look, I know something, I saw something … it makes it more difficult for us,” Henry said. “For us, in pursuit of these matters, clearly identification of these individuals is important. Based on the information that we have, there were persons who may have information about these matters and what we are asking again is for the collaboration between citizens and police for us to witness decreases in crime and criminality. I would actually like to continue to plead with the public because you never know, tomorrow it may be you or one of your own,” she stressed.

In relation to Sunday’s incident, Henry said that the victim has been processed and evidence has been collected. No one has been arrested to date. The senior police officer added that there had also been reports of attempts to lure young women into vehicles. These matters, she said, are being investigated and the police have stepped up their surveillance. “But in the meantime I would like to caution women to be vigilant, do not venture out alone, avoid taking rides from strangers and be mindful of your sobriety when you go out as well.”

In 2014 local police recorded 44 reported cases of rape and seven of attempted rape.

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