Suspects in court for half of 2012 murders

By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter sbrown@tribunemedia.net POLICE have put suspects before the courts in connection with more than half the murders committed for the year and say they are on track to close the remaining cases as well. Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said 52 per cent or 11 of the 21 murders committed in the past two months have been "solved by police". In a press conference at Police Headquarters, ACP Ferguson updated the press on the progress the Royal Bahamas Police Force has made in the fight against crime in 2012. According to crime statistics released by the RBPF, in January homicides decreased by 25 per cent, down to nine from 12 during the same period last year. However, in February murder statistics increased by 41 per cent, up to 12 from seven during the same period in 2011. Police have classified 21 killings as homicides so far this year with 18 in New Providence and two in Grand Bahama. Ten were committed in the street, in alleys or backyards. Police have removed 128 firearms from the streets along with 3,359 rounds of ammunition. ACP Ferguson said this is significant as the gun was the weapon of choice in the majority of murders in 2011 and 2012. He also identified southwestern and northeastern New Providence as the areas where most homicides were committed. Police believe a handful of the murders were retaliation killings, while the majority were drug related or a due to a lack of conflict resolution skills. ACP Ferguson said: "We have groups of young men that have issues with each other. They have conflicts then they go out in public, see each other and cause incidents. "We are appealing to members of the public to come forward and tell us these things before they escalate. We know they know who these persons are. "Please come to us and let us know so we can have an intervention before a problem arises." ACP Ferguson also refuted claims the police were not properly monitoring accused persons outfitted with electronic monitoring bracelets. "We are doing our job. In all technology you will have from time to time some glitches but not to the extent where we do not know where a person is for a significant period of time. We do have back up plans in case something happens in order to deal or circumvent anyone who tries to breach whatever technology we have in place," he said. This came after the opposition PLP claimed the failure of the government to properly monitor people on bail who are fitted with ankle bracelets is "another example, out of the mouth of the minister no less, of failed procedures of the FNM to keep the Bahamian people safe." Minister of National Security, Tommy Turnquest, admitted on Wednesday that 30 persons who were being electronically monitored were able to use foil paper to deactivate the system. He said, however, that when the problem was discovered on February 10, police were able to track the men using alternative measures. There are currently 219 people on bail being monitored via ankle bracelets.


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