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Bahamas to roll out new anti-crime strategy

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — The Bahamas, which is among several Caribbean countries struggling with a spike in crime, says it will, in the coming months, roll out new policies and strategies to deal with the security situation.

The Bahamas' anti-crime plan has the support of the main opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), which said it was prepared to work with all stakeholders “to fight the scourge of crime”.

Bahamas Security Minister Marvin Dames said the authorities had spent a considerable amount of time developing the new strategies and policies that will complement current law enforcement efforts of restoring peace in the country.

“This will happen through improved strategy, acquisition of new equipment, enhanced training of officers and building capacity, not only in New Providence, but throughout the entire Bahamas,” Dames said.

Dames, addressing the Grand Bahama & Northern Bahamas District, Royal Bahamas Police Force annual church service, said that the Government is cognisant of the issues facing Grand Bahama in respect to violent crimes and has already begun taking measures to ensure that improvements in crime fighting in 2018 become evident throughout the island.

“We want to send a message to all those in Grand Bahama who continue to live a life of crime that we are unwavering in our efforts to find you wherever you hide and make you account before the court of law for your actions.

“Let me remind you that there is no hiding place for anyone who seeks to tarnish the reputation of our nation to satisfy their selfishness and greed, and there is no one you can go to or call on, to protect you.”

Dames told the law enforcement officers that the Hubert Minnis Government is serious about improving infrastructure and providing them with the necessary equipment to perform all their duties optimally and professionally.

He said he was aware of the rumours that Grand Bahama is frequently used as a gateway for trafficking of persons, illegal drugs and guns from North America, into the rest of the archipelago.

He said to combat this situation, the police department will use a multi-agency approach in 2018 to combine intelligence capacity, skills and resources and continue to partner with regional and international counterparts to remain a united front against transnational organised crime that threatens the existence and stability of the nation.

Meanwhile, the PLP said that crime should not be used as a political football noting that “no one party can lay claim to any success singularly”.

The party said that while the police must be praised for their efforts in dealing with the crime situation, “we must not rest on our laurels.

“The PLP pledges to work with the police and all persons of goodwill in the society to fight the scourge of crime. In that fight we are unremitting.”

But it said it was concerned that Dames “seems to want to be both minister and commissioner of police.

“It is for the commissioner to reveal his plans for the year, not Marvin Dames in the House. That is what the legislation intends and that is what should ensue. We have raised this issue before about his interference in the force. We raise it again.”

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