Having recorded a startling 10 murders in 2017 — the highest in nearly a decade, the British Virgin Islands is experiencing a major drop in murders so far this year.
The territory is seeing a 50 percent decrease in murders compared to the corresponding period last year.
By this time last year — six months into the year — the territory had already recorded six murders, going on seven.
Michael Stevens, Clevaughn Sweeney, and Trumayne Daway were all killed in two separate shooting incidents this year.
Overall crime drops 12%
According to statistics from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), this decline in murders is part of a wider 12 percent reduction in overall crime in the territory.
When BVI News contacted Police Commissioner Michael Matthews, he declined to speculate on the reason for the drop in murders out of respect for the slane victims — some of whose murders are still unsolved.
He also declined to speculate or divulge any information in recognition of ongoing police investigations and operations.
The top cop, however, said: “The RVIPF remains committed to pursuing, catching, and convicting those few reckless and ruthless individuals who regard life as cheap and commit the most heinous of crimes on our streets. We continue to investigate not only recent incidents but historic matters too and I have high levels of confidence for further charges against offenders in the future.”
“As I have always maintained, we do not forget victims or their families — no matter how long it takes or how complex the investigation.”
Last year’s victims
David ‘Mooney’ Springette, Alston Penn, Franklyn Fahie, Jefferson Joseph, Ashburn Dawson, Shaun Richards, Sherika Nelson, Julio Pineda Ceasar, Franklyn Penn, and 11-year-old Trinity Moses were the 10 victims murdered in 2017.
Since the year 2008 when nine people were murdered locally, the murder rate had not passed four in any given year.
Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.