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Minister Wants An End To Cash For Gold

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Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard Nottage.

By DANA SMITH

Tribune Staff Reporter

dsmith@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Bernard Nottage called for the closure of the country’s cash for gold stores, as well as a ban on copper exports, in light of statistics showing that more than half of all armed robberies are involving jewellery or copper.

Speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday, Dr Nottage revealed the latest crime statistics for the year to date showed a 14 per cent decrease in murder compared to last year, but increases in sex crimes.

Figures show decreases in attempted murder and manslaughter, but reported incidents of rape, attempted rape, and unlawful sexual intercourse have all increased – with attempted rape rising by 1,200 per cent.

Incidents of armed robbery and attempted robbery have also risen.

“There’s a lot of crime associated with gold - with people snatching people’s gold chains, with people breaking into homes and taking their jewellery and stealing,” Dr Nottage said.

“I was driving down Gibbs corner one morning and there was a man walking with his chain on, the man looked like he was in his 60s, taking his time; and all of a sudden a young man from between one of the houses, (stole his chain) and ran off.

“When these cash for gold stores were licensed, I think there were certain requirements they were required to meet when they exchanged money for gold. My information is they are not living up to those responsibilities when they exchange money for gold.

“The person who is selling you something ought to prove they are the owners of it – bring receipts to show they paid for it before you can do a legitimate business exchange with them, (but) that is not happening. I want to close these cash for gold stores down. I want to close these cash for gold stores down and I want the agreement of the Opposition.”

Dr Nottage also revealed that “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in copper are also being stolen and then exported from the country, for profit. He called for the support of the Opposition in bringing about a ban on those copper exports.

Crime statistics provided by the minister show that there were 506 reported incidents of armed robbery with 299 of those robberies involving copper or jewellery – 59 per cent.

Of 157 reported robberies, 41 per cent or 64 of those robberies involved copper or jewellery. For burglary, 32 of 103 – 31 per cent; housebreaking, 338 of 1,028 - 33 per cent; shopbreaking, 93 of 400 - 23 per cent; and stealing from vehicles, 293 of 1,016 reported incidents - 29 per cent.

The total number of reported incidents of property stolen involving copper or jewellery is 1,119 of 3,210 - 35 per cent - for the year to date.

Figures for last year, 2012, also show more than half of all reported armed robberies involved copper or jewellery.

Of the 1,106 incidents reported last year, 596 of those incidents involved copper or jewellery - 54 per cent.

Of 367 reported robberies, 47 per cent or 174 of those robberies involved copper or jewellery. For burglary, 84 of 310 - 27 per cent; housebreaking, 1,044 of 2,891 - 36 per cent; shopbreaking, 180 of 976 or 18 per cent; and stealing from vehicles, 639 of 2,299 - 28 per cent.

The total number of reported incidents of property stolen involving copper or jewellery is 2,717 of 7,949 – 34 per cent – for the year, 2012.

Dr Nottage also tabled in the House of Assembly, the country’s reported crimes for the year to date; the figures include reported incidents from January 1 to June 11, 2013.

The country’s murder count stands at 55, so far, compared to last year’s figure, for the same time period, of 64; a decrease of 14 per cent.

Attempted murder stands at five compared to last year’s 11 – a 55 per cent decrease; and manslaughter stands at 0 compared to 1.

Armed robbery is up 4 per cent, standing at 506 compared to 487; robbery is down 5 per cent, standing at 157 compared to 165; but attempted robbery is up 33 per cent, standing at 12 compared to 9.

Attempted rape is up 1200 per cent, standing at 13 reported instances compared to last year’s 1; reported incidents of rape stand at 46 compared to 45, last year - a 2 per cent increase; and unlawful sexual intercourse stands at 80 compared to last year’s 74 - an 8 per cent increase.

In total, crimes against person have increased by 2 per cent - with 874 reported incidents since January 1, compared to 857 reported incidents for the same time period, last year.

Crimes against property have decreased by 13 per cent with 3,829 reported incidents so far this year compared to 4,381 reported incidents for the same time period, last year.

Burglary is down 15 per cent with 103 incidents compared to last year’s 121; housebreaking is down 24 per cent, with 1,028 incidents compared to 1,354, last year.

Shopbreaking is up 6 per cent with 400 reported incidents compared to 378 incidents, last year. Stealing is down 6 per cent with 811 reported incidents compared to 861 in 2012; stealing from a vehicle is down 9 per cent, standing at 1,016 compared to 1,115; incidents of stolen vehicles stands at 471 compared to 552 - a decrease of 15 per cent.

Dr Nottage broke the crime figures down further to compare New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.

Notable differences include a 21 per cent increase in rape in New Providence – from 33 to 40, while Grand Bahama experienced a 38 per cent decline - 8 to 5, and the Family Islands, a 75 per cent decrease from 4 to 1.

Armed robbery is up in New Providence by 13 per cent - 480 reported cases compared to 435, while Grand Bahama had a decrease of 48 per cent - 23 compared to 44, and 83 per cent in the Family Islands - 3 compared to 18.

No figures were provided for “causing harm.” Last month, police officials had explained some shootings are classified as “causing harm” based on severity of the crime.

Comments

B_I_D___ 3 years, 9 months ago

Close close close!! YES YES YES!!

Only thing these places are good for are clearing houses for stolen goods.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, just looked at one signs on the weekend and wondered who approved this business for the Bahamas??

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banker 3 years, 9 months ago

Check to see who owns the cash-for-gold shops.

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bismark 3 years, 9 months ago

Before anybodyelse is murdered,close them down,they are no benefit to our economy,they are only dragging us down,they are hurting the jewelry store businesses,people are afraid to purchase gold jewelry for fear of being robbed,it is not right,people should be able to wear what they want without having to do it in fear.i too was a victim,losing over 2400 dollars in jewelry,i took my time and paid for those items only to come home and found out some low life bum was in my home and took all of my jewelry,when people shoot them suckers,dont feel sorry for them.as for the mothers ''my good child''good child my ass!

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positiveinput 3 years, 9 months ago

So my car was stolen before, whats the solution, close all body work shops that are not dealers. Regulate an industry and see how better it would be. Remember back in the days when your home would be broken in just to have your satellite box card stolen. Not anymore, because the cards are now regulated to trace back to its owner. Stop finding the easy way out, regulate - create jobs - and count your profits.

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positiveinput 3 years, 9 months ago

Close them for what. Do your job and govern. A suggestion was given from long time for the government to watch over these cash for gold and scrap metal businesses.

Cash for gold - The government, locate a building and let the gold merchants interested in the exchange of scrap gold acquire a booth within the building. Government officials are the first to inspect all the goods entering the buildings for value and to assure that it is not stolen goods. After inspection, the identified owner can now choose which agent they perfer to deal with and after the transaction is completed each agent at the end of a given period must disclose to the officials their quantity intake. It is then goods obtain can be transported to the agents store of business for resale. When gold is melted down its unable to be traced so using this means of acquiring scrap gold the government can keep a tab on any stores inventory.

Scrap metal - The government place officials at each scrap metal location. Proper identification is needed when cashing in any metal. After the government official has inspected goods obtain, with the completion of contains to be filled completed, the official lock and official sticker seal the container for transport to the shipyard.

Bahamians do only what is inspected, not what is expected, so now because they need to have overseers it must come with a fee. Cash for gold agents who are interested in the scrap gold exchange must acquire (rent) a booth at the government base location. Any acquiring of goods at their store would be illegal and could result in their entire stock being confiscated. With the scrap metal merchants, they are required to deduct 5% or 'so' off the payment to the individual cashing in scrap metal which would be the government operation tax.

Notice how new jobs can be created with a means of acquiring their own funding rather than just relying on the over strained public treasury.

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lazybor 3 years, 9 months ago

these are the demonstrations of the incapability to solve problems

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Understandfacts 3 years, 9 months ago

Dishonest people will continue to be dishonest, regardless of what business is open or not. I am not saying that the Government should aid dishonesty but I think the shops should be regulated.

Persons who bring in gold for cash should be able to provide third party support indicating that they are the owners of such goods. For example - a receipt - proof of purchase - should have the third party contact information for the owner of the store to validate proof of purchase.

Most if not all goods have unique identifiable numbers where older purchases can be identified and the seller is able to identify who bought the good. For persons who find gold Jewelry or have very old Jewelry and cannot provide proof of purchase there should be a waiting period after they turn in the gold for cash to be returned. During that time, say 2 to 3 weeks the company can advertise the goods if no one comes forward in the time period they can remit cash to the person who brought the gold in, if only 70 to 80% of what they would have initially given.

I do not think taking jobs out of the economy will cause this type of criminal activity to go down. They can still rob persons for gold and ship them to Miami and get cash wired to an account. Criminals will find other means, entrepreneurs who provide jobs and make an honest living should not be punished because the government is being lazy.

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 9 months ago

the MPS talk to talk ,,remember the web shops ,,

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PKMShack 3 years, 9 months ago

@ concern Oh yeah they still open, as if we really thought they would close them down, these crooks will talk until next election

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