Crime figures on Bonaire show a declining trend

KPCN Management Team during Friday’s presentation of Crime Figures on Bonaire for the year 2023. Photo: ABC Online Media

KRALENDIJK – When looking at the statistics from 2023, crime on Bonaire reveals a largely downward trend. Despite a growing population and an increasing number of tourists, almost every type of crime measured shows lower figures.

This information emerged during the presentation by the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force (KPCN) on Friday. The exact cause of the declining trend is not always clear, even to KPCN itself. However, a growing number of officers on the street, combined with low unemployment rates on the island seem positive contributors to the trend. 

One particularly troublesome form of theft, namely theft at various diving spots, decreased significantly to a total of no more than two incidents throughout 2023. Additionally, theft of goats, business break-ins, and bicycle thefts decreased. On the other hand, there were considerably more motor vehicle thefts, more cases of theft from plots, and an increase in attempted thefts compared to previous years.

The number of residential burglaries also significantly decreased, by approximately 50% compared to 2020. This downward trend has been visible for several years. KPCN attributes this improvement for an important part to better prevention efforts, including residents the installation of better locks, security cameras and other preventative measures. 

In 2023, there were six cases of theft involving violence, with two instances of theft under threat of a weapon.

Physical assault

Contrary to favourable figures in property offenses, there were more cases of physical assault in 2023. A total of 206 cases were reported to KPCN, with 69 of these involving domestic violence. Although the number of child abuse cases increased slightly, the absolute numbers remains relatively low.

The number of murders on the island remains stable. In 2020 and 2024, there was one case each. In 2021 and 2022, no murders occurred on the island.

Unfortunately, sexual offenses showed an upward trend in 2023, totalling 28 cases—almost twice as high as in previous years.


KPCN Chief Alwyn Braaf expressed cautious satisfaction with the figures from the past year. “When it comes to crime, it always sounds strange to say you are satisfied. After all, every case is one too many,” said Braaf. Nevertheless, the head of KPCN is pleased that various types of criminal activity on the island are showing a declining trend.

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