[Updated with video] The police released the crime statistics for 2011, with Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva saying, “2011 saw the lowest recorded crime figures since comparative records began in 2000. With total crimes at 4,371 this is a decrease of -4.5% on 2010, which is an average of about 12 crimes per day.
“Crimes were reduced in 3 of the 4 major categories: Crimes Against the Person (-10.3%), Firearms Incidents (-37% overall; Injuries and fatalities: -55%), Crimes Against the Community (-13%) and remained about the same in: Crimes Against Property -0.1%
“Although the overall figure for Crime Against the Person is reduced, the headlines include that there were 8 murders in 2011, one higher than the year before. 5 murders were firearms related. 3 persons have been charged so far in connection with these cases.
“The final quarter of 2011 ended up being the busiest period for firearms incidents with 14 confirmed and 25 unconfirmed incidents. This included 5 persons being shot and injured, but with no fatalities. This makes the yearly total: 5 firearms related murders and 11 non-fatal shootings. These 16 shootings represent a reduction of -55% compared against 2010.
The Commissioner continued on to say: “A steady and encouraging increase of community intelligence resulted in the recovery of 10 firearms and a substantial amount of ammunition over the year.
“Since 2009 when the spike in gun violence began, 28 cases have gone to trial resulting in 21 guilty verdicts and a conviction rate of 75%. That equates to 3 out of 4, and is clear evidence of the joined up efforts of law enforcement, prosecution and community support. Sentences have ranged from 5 to 38 years imprisonment. So far in 2012, 3 more convictions have been added and 9 cases are currently awaiting trial.
“4,450 arrests were made in 2011, which is a decrease from the previous year by -10.7%. Of those arrested, 22 persons were arrested for murder, 51 for firearms offences and 118 for residential burglaries. About half of all arrests continue to relate to court issued warrants.
“Police conducted 17,429 stop and searches in 2011, an increase of 82% compared to 2010. There is a direct correlation between increased enforcement levels and decreased crime levels as evidenced this year and last with these crime figures.
“Interestingly, there has also been a drop off in the use of stop and search powers that correlates with a reduction in gun crimes. But a spike in firearms incidents in the fourth quarter means we will not be taking our foot off the gas with the use of stop and search powers as an effective tool against gang suppression.
“Drug seizures in 2011 were once again significant, with a total of 351 Kg of controlled drugs being recovered during the year and an estimated street value of $52 million. Interdiction at the Ports of Entry by the Customs Department accounted for 87% of the value of seizures. The seizure of 180Kg of cocaine is also exceptional and represents increased maritime interdictions with Customs as well as overseas agencies.
“Bermuda recorded 9 fatal road traffic collisions in 2011. The number is still tragic but it represents the lowest recorded since 2004. There was an average of 38 traffic collisions per week in 2011, which is a significant reduction from 58 per week five years ago. The total number of collisions was 1,955 or -13.4% less than 2010.
“Once again calls for service have increased exponentially to 42,448 (116 per day), 2,000 more than in 2010, and the highest to date. This is still about 3 or 4 times more than other similar jurisdictions.”
The full report is below [PDF here], click ‘Fullscreen’ for greater clarity: