“This is a promise,” Dames said, as he announced that the law enforcement agencies will be “taking a more aggressive approach to handling drug peddling and shutting down drug houses in communities throughout New Providence, Grand Bahama and across the Family Islands, as they are the source of many of the crime problems that exist.
“They will be increasing their intelligence and operational efforts to identify and disrupt gang activities. From an intelligence perspective, there will be an increased focus on firearm traffickers with a view to bringing them to justice,” he added.
Dames said he has been informed by police that they have conducted a review of persons on bail who are not complying with their bail conditions.
“Further, they have discovered that more than 50 persons were not in compliance and they have already arrested a number of those persons and subsequently their bail was revoked. At present, there are 268 persons currently being monitored for various offences. Out of the 268 serious offences committed there are: 70 for homicides, 18 for attempted murders, 102 for armed robberies and 59 for firearm offenses.”
He said that the police intelligence has also revealed that the murders have occurred in various hot spots and that police will increase vehicle and foot patrols and will be using all of the technology available to them including increased monitoring of CCTV and their all of their resources to curtail these violent crimes.
“The efforts of police have yielded some results but as I have explained there is more that we should be doing and there is also a need to improve technology and build capacity,” Dames said, adding that he was sending a warning to criminals that “moving forward we intend to make your life very uncomfortable. “We will use every resource at our disposal to ensure that you are made to account for your wrongdoings”.
He said the new Hubert Minnis government had campaigned in the last general election on a manifesto that outlined plans to deal with the crime situation here.
“We will immediately commence with the establishment of the National Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch Council to grow community involvement in the fight against crime,” he said, adding that the council will establish crime watch groups in every community and these groups will endeavour to establish commonality and examine community prevention measures.
“The council will study the feasibility of citizen patrols working with police to improve relationships and prevent crime. Additionally, the council will collaborate with multi government agencies and non-governmental agencies.”
He also promised that the government will review the establishment of the Royal Bahamas Police Force “as we feel that this is one of those areas that if we get right, should go a long way in reducing high levels of crime in our communities.
“This review will determine the requisite number of officers at any Division which was never previously established. I suspect that shortly we will run a pilot programme in terms of addressing this issue to determine its effectiveness.
“We will also move to decentralise once again, the central detective units. The purpose of decentralisaion is to have detectives at stations to readily respond to serious matters on a timely basis. The detective units were dismantled under the last administration,” dames added.
- Countries: Bahamas