15 Jan 2010

Marshall's police dispute latest crime figures

12:09 pm on 15 January 2010

Criminal case filings by Marshall Islands prosecutors hit a two-decade low in 2009, according to High Court statistics, but National Police officials say crime - particularly robberies - is on the rise.

Only 17 cases were registered in the High Court last year, two of which were appeals from the District Court, meaning the actual number of High Court criminal cases filed by the Attorney General¹s office last year was only 15 - a 70 percent drop on the annual average for the previous seven years.

The number of cases prosecuted has been steadily declining since reaching a peak of 100 filed in 2006.

Last year, there were just 17 cases.

New Attorney General Frederick Canavor Jr. says the office has only a handful of police reports pending that it will be using to file criminal charges in the High Court shortly.

He added that a number of police reports had been returned to the National Police for further investigation or details.

But National Police officials say they have submitted many crime reports to the Attorney General's office that have never been prosecuted.