‘St Helena remains a very safe place for those who live, work or visit the Island’, Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, said today.
Whilst the total number of crimes from April 2015 to March 2016 – compared to the same period the previous year – has risen by 16, the total crime figure of 241 is extraordinarily low and reflects the safe and cohesive community we live in. It is also worthy of note that just one offender was responsible for a high number of these crimes meaning, in real terms, other crimes have reduced.
The Police Service has a target to reduce crime overall to a figure of 208 – based on a five year average. But, to make this target even more challenging, the Service has committed to raising the number of reports to the Police of sex offences and domestic abuse.
In relation to sex offences and domestic abuse cases, there has been an increase in reporting over the last 12 months. For the year ahead, the increased reporting of these offences remains a priority for the Police.
“The public can have great confidence in reporting such offences to my team or through our partner agencies. They will be supported throughout any enquiry and can be assured that their voice will be heard.”
In terms of wider community safety, much work has been carried out over the last year to improve road safety by seeking the cooperation of the community to reduce drink-driving offences. Most visible were two road safety campaigns and a parking awareness campaign in Jamestown. Enforcement has supported these campaigns when drivers fail to heed the warnings about the risks posed by drink-driving and continue to put other road users needlessly at risk.
The number of people arrested for drink-driving from April 2015 to March 2016 was 27, compared to 28 the year before and 37 two years ago. The next 12 months will see increased activity to reduce these numbers even further, including by targeting individuals when the Police have intelligence to suggest that they are drink-driving and putting the community at risk.
The last 12 months saw a rise in road traffic collisions to 128 from 108 the previous year and 102 two years ago. There will be a number of factors behind this rise but there is no doubt that speed is one of them. For this reason, speed enforcement will be very evident in the year ahead and a key priority for the Police will be to reduce the number of road traffic collisions.
“The focus for the year ahead will remain on reducing the already low crime levels on St Helena, and on encouraging the increased reporting of offences that are sex related or those which involve domestic abuse. We will also be stepping up our work to ensure that the roads on St Helena remain safe for all users, with a particular focus on speeding and drink-driving.
“I would like to hear from anyone who has concerns about crime or road safety and my team look forward to working with our community to make St Helena a safe environment for all.”
10 May 2016