Two months with­out a homi­cide while rape fig­ures rise!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

FToni Ni­cholas or 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.

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.

Act­ing Deputy Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Frances Henry

speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence on Tues­day.

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