246 Cases In First Quarter of Year.
ATTEMPTS by police and other law enforcement agencies to combat burglary are not paying off as expected as that offence is still the most regularly committed against property in Saint Lucia.
That is according to data released by police yesterday despite statistics which show a see-sawing effect in numbers during a two and a quarter year period.
Now police are freely handing out tips to the public that they hope will assist in reducing incidents of this particular crime.
They are calling on the public to ensure that their homes look occupied when they are out by leaving on lights, a radio or television.
“If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day. Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors,” Press officer, Zachary Hippolyte said.
He advised persons with garages to keep the doors closed and locked, and homeowners to arrange for their lawns to be mowed if they are going away for an extended period of time and ensure that the hinges of their doors are on the inside.
“Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with as many secure devices as deemed necessary. Push button locks on door knobs are easy for burglars to open. Instal deadlock bolts on all your outside doors. Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security. Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives. Trim shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars. Be a good neighbour,” Hippolyte said.
In reminding the public of the 20 year imprisonment term that can be imposed on a person who commits the offence of burglary, Hippolyte called on everyone to report immediately to police anything suspicious in their neighbourhood.
Police recorded a total of 1,143 cases of burglary in 2014 compared to 839 the year before.
For the first quarter of this year (January – March) 246 burglaries were recorded compared to 305 last year. Statistics for the second quarter were unavailable.
Police were able to detect 48 of those burglar reports for the first quarter of this year compared to detecting 43 for the same period last year.
The Criminal Code Revised Edition of 2008 describes burglary as a person entering any building, or parts of a building, as a trespasser, with the intent to commit any offence under subsection two of the Code. The offences referred to in subsection two of the Code are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of the building in question; inflicting on the person in the building any grievous bodily harm; raping a woman in the building and doing unlawful damage to the building or anything in the building.