By DANA SMITH
ARGUMENTS over women are a significant factor in the country's steadily-climbing murder rate, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said.
In announcing the launch of Urban Renewal 2.0 at Police Headquarters yesterday, Mr Greenslade told participating officers that conflict resolution is a "huge problem" in communities across the Bahamas.
"Many of the murders that we recorded to date are as a result of arguments. I am ashamed to tell you, arguments over women - females, where young men are feuding over females," he said.
"Family members are aware of it and they try their best to make the intervention and there's this pinch-point and men who are best friends argue to the extent that at some point, a gunshot rings out and one falls dead because of jealousy or some jealous rage between two healthy bodied young men who are obviously miscommunicating and are totally confused."
In addition to killing each other over women, "confused" men also pick fights over illegal drugs, Mr Greenslade said.
"Beyond females, there is silly arguments and strife over illicit drugs," he said.
However, the Commissioner explained, "a lot" of men murder each other as a result of arguments over women and police should pay "serious" attention to that.
In offering advice to the police officers set to engage in Urban Renewal 2.0, Mr Greenslade asked officers to intervene before an argument starts and then escalates into violence.
"This is killing us and it's causing our people to die. We are going to have to make that intervention," he said.
"We're going to have get right up in their faces and say: 'We know, we've heard.' And you may have to talk to a young man and hurt his pride and say: 'You're a bigger man than that and I hear you're feuding over this girl - let it go.' And maybe take him for a drive and have a man talk."
Mr Greenslade continued: "As I look at the details around many of these murders, I did not want to believe it, because there's always the tendency to point to drugs - and, yes, drugs is causing a lot of our problems, but a lot of our problems with our young people stem from these relationships that do not work right.
"And they're not even marriage relationships," he said.
"They are just relationships that don't seem to go right. It's a huge problem and we are going to have to do a lot of work around it."