Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $420,000)
In recent years, especially the first months of the year 2023, the grant recipient had an increase in the number of murders, robberies, assaults and domestic violence crimes in rural sectors, marginalized urban areas and tourist areas, these have been the most serious problems facing the Municipal Police, in a summary of the sum of crimes in their municipality compared to this same date for 2022 they had an increase of 60% in Type 1 crimes.
One of the main problems facing the Vieques Municipal Police is the increase of violent crimes perpetrated against the citizens and against property, especially in the rural areas of the municipality for this date, in addition to the lack of personnel assigned to our police force. Right now, they only have (7) seven policemen and one (1) commissioner. Among the reasons for this increase in crime, the following have been identified: the accelerated flow of tourists, which based on reports provided to us by HMS Ferries Puerto Rico LLC, and visitors reach the amount of 46,000 per month, the transfer of controlled substances, the extensive amount of recreational areas throughout the coast and surrounding rural areas, the lack of trained personnel and the lack of security equipment.
These causes make our island less safe and experience a dizzying increase in murders and violent crimes, robberies, car thefts and activities related to the sale and consumption of controlled substances.
The Puerto Rico Police, for the Vieques District, in their report of official statistics related to Type I crimes, show an increase during the beginning of the year 2023. The grant recipient noted that for this year 2023 there is an accelerated increase in type 1 crimes, as indicated in the "Comparative Tables of Criminal Incidence" in their region, which forces them to make new plans and programs that will help them to decrease this increase. The installation of security cameras will help the grant recipient to increase surveillance in these sectors and to clarify with more certainty the increasing crimes.