WITH three months left on the ankle bracelet contract between the government and ICS Security Concepts, DNA leader Branville McCartney said it patently clear that this piece of crime fighting technology has not lived up to the hype.
“The Democratic National Alliance stands firm in their belief that the ankle bracelet programme to date has not been properly managed.
“A blind man can see that a contractual problem exists between the government and ICS. Bahamians can’t fathom how someone who is being monitored is dead for a week, the police are apparently unaware that the person has died and then ICS saying that they followed proper procedure. Something is amiss,” Mr McCartney said.
The DNA’s leader said if Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage is serious about the success of this programme, he needs to correct the problems immediately.
“Persons on bail who are outfitted with ankle bracelets have committed murders, been murder victims and have committed armed robberies.
“The DNA contends that there should be basic protocols for persons on bail who are outfitted with ankle bracelets. We are strongly advising the government to cause the following recommendations to be implemented immediately:
“Place a curfew on all persons outfitted with ankle bracelets. Once this time-line is established, this needs to be strictly enforced.
“Put a range on the area that these persons can travel. Ensure that persons receive proper authorisation when they need to go out of the specified area.
“Ensure that the contract is clearly defined so that the reporting lines can be maintained between ICS and the police force 24 hours a day.”
Mr McCartney said the DNA is also calling on the government to stop sending mixed messages about the ankle bracelet programme.
“The Minister for National Security said he wholeheartedly believes that the police should be monitoring persons wearing ankle bracelets but he also said that a bid will go out to tender for the monitoring of these persons.
“It is this kind of double talk that has our country in trouble. In one sentence the Minister for National Security has stated conflicting positions on the same issue. It is evident that the Minister and this administration have no clear set policies and no clue of how to solve our crime problem and their will to control crime is still lacking.
“Ankle bracelets have now seemingly become a fashion statement for persons wearing them. All over Nassau you can see people showing off their ankle bracelet like it was a piece of jewellery.
“We believe the government’s initiatives on crime, inclusive of Swift Justice, are failing miserably and they are not addressing the core of our crime problem. We believe that the ankle bracelet programme can serve to be a valuable tool in crime prevention but there needs to be proper management and communication for it to be effective,” he said.