What ever happened to Aruba … “One safe island” where no crime ever took place? It would appear that myth has now been put to rest. Aruba may want to revise the following articles regarding the crime rate to unsuspecting tourists. Of course there are other crimes that occur in Aruba that are not referred to in much of any manner. However, the increase in youth crimes make it completely believable that the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway could have been entirely planned and perpetrated by youths.
Since crime in Aruba is relatively low, you can travel with peace of mind
On rare occasions, armed robbery and car theft have occurred. Vehicle leases or rental contracts may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged, so make sure you are sufficiently covered when renting cars and jet skis.
The crime discussed by the ALE is referring to youth and gang violence, not petty pick pocketing. Rare? You be the judge. Since 2005 to 2007 there has been an average criminality increase per day of 2.10 crimes. Rare?
According to reports from the ALE, criminality has increased with 11.3 percent last year. Home robberies and youth crime have been targeted as the reason for the increase. Crime is on the increase in Aruba and there appears to be a disturbing trend with youth and crime. Have the youth in Aruba become out of control and feel a sense of invisibility?
Points of concern are the development of the youth criminality and “the growing ease with which firearms are being used”, said chief of police Peter de Witte looking back on last year.
The youth criminality has been raised to priority one this year. “Youth criminality, definitely after the serious incidents of last year, is heavily qualified for the subjective safety feeling.
Thus, the number of crimes has increased last year. The number of crimes committed in 2005 was 5511; in 2006, 5643; and in 2007, 6277
Looking back to 2005 and the Natalee Holloway missing persons case when Aruba became a household name to many for all the wrong reasons, we see that three suspects were named at the time. Was the Natalee Holloway case and her presumed death just one in the many of a trend of youth violence taking place in Aruba? Many people had thought at the time how could 3 young suspects, Joran Van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe, pull such a crime off? With the ever increasing crime rate and Aruba and the ever increasing crime rate among youths, is it really that unbelievable now?
Criminality increased with 11 percent (Amigoe: June 13, 2008)
Looking back on 2007, chief of police Peter de Witte is of the opinion that the shooting incident near Arubus in December of last year, whereby a 19-year old boy shot a police officer and was self shot and killed, is an example of the hardening in the society and especially with the youth.
ORANJESTAD – From the tentative figures of the Police Corps of Aruba it appears that criminality has increased with 11.3 percent last year. This has to do with mainly the sharp rise of the number of robberies, especially in homes. The police are highly satisfied with the approach of the local drug dealings and the use of narcotics; more than 200 kilo cocaine was confiscated last year, double the amount of 2006.
Points of concern are the development of the youth criminality and “the growing ease with which firearms are being used”, said chief of police Peter de Witte looking back on last year. “The shooting incident in December of last year is an example of that. It started with a fight and it ended in a shout-out, whereby one police officer was hit by two bullets and the shooter that finally died.”
The chief of police is also very concerned about the armed confrontations between several youth groups that in addition are getting more and more involved with criminal activities. “A hardening has taken place.” De Witte doesn’t want to talk about gangs. “That gives them too much status. These are groups that represent certain neighbourhoods, of which some are engaged in criminality like drug dealing and burglary.”
Besides, the police corps has no perception of the age structure of those that commit crimes; at least not until a new registration system is introduced soon. The youth criminality has been raised to priority one this year. “Youth criminality, definitely after the serious incidents of last year, is heavily qualified for the subjective safety feeling. More and more people are wondering: Do I have to go to carnival due to the problems caused by the young people.”
FEWER CAR THEFTS
Thus, the number of crimes has increased last year. The number of crimes committed in 2005 was 5511; in 2006, 5643; and in 2007, 6277. Again, the highest number of crimes committed is robbery, especially due to the increased number of housebreakings. Lowering the number of burglaries is therefore on the priority list of this year. The number of car thefts has decreased with 19 percent compared to 2006; which is positive, according to De Witte.
Same as past years, destruction and ill-treatment are the common crimes. The number of deadly violent offences is dropping; 3 versus 7 in 2006 and 6 in 2005.
67 Percent of these crimes are solved.
The stricter approach of the local dealing in drugs and use of narcotics that the police has started with last year and is also a spearhead for this year, is according to De Witte very successful. Not only did the number of cocaine that was confiscated last year doubled compared to 2006, but the police also confiscated 1078 XTC-pills versus 340 in 2006. A total of 152 persons, including 11 drug dealers were arrested during police actions in the entertainment centre. “The local drug dealing and use of drugs remains a big problem. It caused a lot of inconvenience in the districts and peripheral criminality, like burglary. Especially the youth is very vulnerable when they come into contact with drugs. We know that drugs is being used and sold on several schools and I an very worried about that”, said De Witte.
Despite the extra traffic surveillances in 2007, the number of deaths in traffic accidents increased to 18; a big increase compared to the past 4 years. The number of reported collisions keeps dropping (-6.2 percent to 5858). With all the police actions in traffic, the traffic behaviour has changed, says De Witte. He hopes that a combination of traffic surveillance and prevention would change this. The biggest problem is still alcohol in traffic. “Most optimum would be to conduct traffic surveillance every day, but that is not realistic. The corps doesn’t have enough capacity.”