By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE murder rate has come down 38 per cent over the last few years Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said yesterday.
While the Commissioner did not release specific figures, he said because of the excellent work of the Royal Bahamas Police Force as well as new crime prevention initiatives, crime is on the decline.
Mr Greenslade made his comments at the 41st Annual Scientific Conference of the Medical Association of the Bahamas.
“The murder figures,” he said, “are continually going down. Last year, we were down by 16 murders and this year the figure is trending down 38 per cent. This is not a coincidence. It is because of the deliberate action and strong arm tactics of the police. Now a lot of people do not like that or may not agree with that but I will say to you what I said to the government ‘Leave us alone and let us do our jobs’. Do not jump to conclusions and let us do our work.”
The Commissioner also said that 80 per cent of the murder victims are young Bahamian men between the ages of 18 and 45. He said not only do the victims and the perpetrators know each other, but they are also known to police.
“These are our Bahamian sons, our relatives and friends, the people that live in our homes, they are killing each other and for silly reasons and so there are times when I want to tell you what happened but I can’t because I do not want to prejudice the case, but there are no stranger on stranger crimes in the Bahamas. We have angry young, adult Bahamian males who are not in many cases literate, they are not looking for a job and they do not want the job that you are going to offer them and they will tell you quickly ‘I can make that money that you talking about in a couple of hours’. The suspects and victims are adult Bahamian males who in most cases know each other,” he said.
“The victims and the perpetrators are also well known to police and appeared before the courts on a number of occasions. Many of the victims as well as the suspects were on bail at the time of their demise or during the time they re-offended. As a matter of fact many murder files were closed before arrests were made because the suspects were murdered.”
However, Mr Greenslade said, the police will not give up and the public will see the fruit of their efforts in the near future.