Violence In Bahamas At Levels Close To Armed Conflict Zones

Wednesday 11th, December 2013 / 21:03 Published by

Inter-American Development Bank

The current level of deadly violence means the Bahamas almost qualifies as an armed conflict zone, a new report reveals.

Measured per 100,000 inhabitants, the murder rate over the last several years was about three times the level constituting an epidemic, roughly equivalent to a conflict zone, and continues to be one of the highest in the region.

The statistics, included in the Inter-American Development Bank country strategy for the Bahamas, also reveal that in 2010, this country had the highest prisoner to population ratio in the region and one of the highest in the world – with nearly 70 per cent of prisoners still awaiting trial.

Between 2005 and 2011, the report noted, crime against persons and property rose 49 per cent.

“These elevated levels are raising concern at the local and international levels, and have a direct influence on human welfare in the short run, and longer run affects on social cohesion and economic growth – particularly with respect to tourism,” the report said.

In 2010, the Bahamas recorded 28 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. The report noted that according to the World Health Organisation, anything above 10/100,000 constitutes an epidemic, while rates above 30/100,000 are classed as an armed conflict.

That year, there were 94 murders. The rate has exceeded 100 every year since, with 111 so far in 2013.

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