Crime in the British Virgin Islands is down by some 2 percent, despite the recent spike in criminal offences such as theft, burglary and praedial larceny.

This is according to the Commissioner of Police of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Mark Collins, who made the disclosure during a recent interview with 284 Media.

He said the recent spike in criminal activity during the curfew periods have been linked to desperation of persons who are partaking in criminal mischief as an act of survival during this difficult economic climate.

“On an average year the territory would have some 1100 plus crimes and usually 50 percent detection rate which is a good detection mode. I’m pleased to say this year so far crime is down by 2 percent, most notably vehicle crime is down below 6 percent, theft is down by 29 percent, and sexual offenses are down by 17 percent,” he said.

“But without a doubt we’ve seen a spate in different burglaries and vehicle thefts over the curfew sort of periods and periods of lockdown and some of that is down to people, you know, basically needing to survive and live. So we’ve seen an uplifting, some of those types of crimes there. But on the whole crime is down,” he added.

Opportunist criminals

Commissioner Collins labelled the culprits opportunist criminals and urged residents to keep their valuables secured and safe.

He said, “My plea to victims and to your viewers is to keep your valuables safe, keep your doors locked, keep your windows locked, when you go into your vehicles keep your vehicles locked, when you go to the bank, or you go to the shops because very much many of these people are opportunists’ crimes and they’ll try car doors and they’ll see if car doors are open.

He added, “But if they’re locked, they won’t break into the vehicles and they won’t break into houses. So, you know the message is, please keep your vehicles locked, keep your doors locked when you’re not in your properties and you can help us by target hardening your own property as well.”

Reach out to community policing officers

The top cop also encouraged residents to reach out to their respective community policing officers which have been assigned across the territory.

“I introduced the community policing team across the territory on the first of June, 16, dedicated officers to the different districts of territory and what I would be suggesting is that farmers, business people, we’ve really spoken to the Chamber of Commerce and the hoteliers, the charter industry, boats industry, you know reach out to your local community policing officer. They can come. They can give you some advice and guidance on target hardening and working with you to prevent crime again,” the top cop urged.