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Murders climb 21% so far in 2022

Murders are up 21 percent so far in 2022 compared to the same period last year, Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander reported yesterday.

More than half of the 85 people killed so far this year — 55 percent — were out on bail, Fernander said.

“You could see over the past week a number of young men being killed just after they were released on bail,” said Fernander, who was a guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Nassau at the Nassau Yacht Club.

“That is a concern for us and it is being addressed as we speak.”

Fernander said many of the men who were killed were on bail for murder, armed robberies and other serious crimes.

“Shortly after they are released from prison, they are dead,” he said.

“Based on our intel, we suspect that the suspects for that are the rival gangs. Their enemies are responsible for that.

“Again, you can see that the solvency rate is 58 percent. Yes, we find them and put them behind bars. We go above and beyond to convince the court that if this individual is given bail either he gets killed or some other relatives or friend who he hangs around becomes a potential target.

“We see it happen. In the print media a couple of weeks ago, one of the courts did just that and that was based on our intel that [we] shared with the prosecutor – that if this individual is placed on bail, give him about two or three days and he is dead.

“The judge at the time remanded him. He should say thanks to that judge because based on the intel, he was a target. We have the information. We continue to go after them to try to disrupt what is going on.”

Last month, a judge denied bail for a man charged with murder for his own safety and that of the public.

Last year this time, there were 70 murders.

Fernander noted that the majority of murders happened on the weekend between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Data provided by Fernander shows that the majority of murders (75) happened on New Providence.

Nine murders happened on Grand Bahama and one on a Family Island.

The bulk of the murders on New Providence happened in the southern division, in the area known as the Grove, Fernander said.

Other murder hotspots include Kemp Road, Nassau Village, Carmichael Road, South Beach and Cowpen Road.

“We got off to a bad start [with] 85 [murders],” Fernander said.

“I still believe we will be able to finish the year strong [and] still be under 100.

“In 2018, before I went on leave, we had the count under 100 after two decades. After two decades we were able to bring the murder count under 100. I believe that we will do it again.

“We will do it again. It is still under 100. There are still a few more months to go and I believe that we will be able to hold the line and finish strong.”

If murders continue unabated, 2022 is on track to surpass the 119 murders recorded in 2021.

The bloodiest year on record was 2015 when 146 murders were recorded.