Police Welfare Association: Count the Cost of Crime
The Police Welfare Association (PWA) believes that despite the fact that the crime rate in Dominica declined in 2018 as compared to four years earlier there is still a lot of work to be done to curb criminal activities here.
"The basic prerequisite for stability of society and economic expansion is the preservation and maintenance of the rule of law. The people of Dominica expect a Police Force to be professional in conduct, responsive and effective in its operations. Society also expects that the Police Force is equipped to meet the changing demands of society and is creative and adaptable in crime management and investigations," chairman of the PWA Jefferson Drigo said.
He continued, "The security of the citizens of a country is necessary to enable the conduct of the other public services, such as basic education and health care. Crime leads to the destruction of lives and property, and when it is combined with corrupt practices, it results in negative impact on investment and entrepreneurship. In the evaluation of a country's prospects for foreign direct investment, investors consider any indications of increasing crimes. In the circumstances, there is a strong likelihood that business opportunities will be restricted and the prospects for social and economic development are reduced. In effect the economic and social losses that are derived from crime and violence are considerably higher than the observed small amounts that are stolen, or the destruction of life and property and the reduction in productive capacity."
Statistics from the criminal investigations department reveal that grievous bodily harm, burglary, robbery top the list of criminal offenses in Dominica over the period 2014- 2018 followed by indecent assault/unlawful sexual intercourse.
"Accordingly, the Police Force is expected to be at the frontline implementing measures to reduce the level of crime in the state. For its part, the PWA performs a critical role in the reduction of crimes in the state and therefore endorses the policy on Crime Prevention and Control of the Government of Dominica," Drigo said.
He said that the economic value of public security can be better appreciated when viewed from the perspective of the "cost of violence and crime."
"Generally, violence induces institutional outlays e.g. for police investigations and criminal courts, combined with the revenue forgone by loss of life and limb, material losses and private spending in security," he said.
Drigo revealed that in its World Development Report, the World Bank estimated that crime and violence costs Jamaica more than US$400 million each year. "The World Bank has categorized Jamaica among the countries where growth and development is slowed by crime. In 2011, Jamaica recorded 60 murders for each 100,000 resident. According to the World Bank direct medical costs of all interpersonal violence is estimated at US$29.5 million, while the indirect costs amounted to US$385.0 Million. When other indirect costs are added, such as costs related to policing health care, private security, and reduced investment, the figures are even more alarming," Drigo said.
2014: Murder (9); Rape (13); Grievous Bodily Harm (46); Burglary (842); Kidnapping (3); Indecent Assault (51); Robbery (85). Total: 1,049
Murder (9); Rape (23); Grievous Bodily Harm (68); Burglary (907); Kidnapping (2); Indecent Assault (31); Robbery (72). Total: 1,112
2016: Murder (10); Rape (14); Grievous Bodily Harm (81) ; Burglary (834); Kidnapping (4) ; Indecent Assault (29); Robbery (63).
2017: Murder (12); Rape (12); Grievous Bodily Harm (51); Burglary (845); Kidnapping (4); Indecent Assault (34); Robbery (72).
2018: Murder (11); Rape (6); Grievous Bodily Harm (58); Burglary (595); Kidnapping (1) ; Indecent Assault (21); Robbery (69).
Total crime for period 2014-2018: Murder: 51; Rape, 68; Grievous Bodily Harm, 304; Burglary, 4,023; Kidnapping, 14; Indecent Assault, 166; Robbery, 361. Total 4,987