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Activists Are Disappointed At Level Of Crime

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Bishop Simeon Hall

By Rupert Missick Jr

ANTI-Crime activists are critical of a “disappointing” first year of the new Christie administration, giving it low marks when it comes to meeting its commitments in reducing crime in the country.

Despite the wishes of death penalty advocates to see capital punishment carried out in the Bahamas, it is unlikely that this will occur in the near future, if at all, leading to calls for the government to come up with “creative alternatives”.

As a backdrop to all of this are the mounting numbers of murder victims, punctuating an already complex situation with the desperate desire of the general public to see a significant reduction in violent crime.

About three years ago former Pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church Bishop Simeon Hall erected a memorial wall on the grounds of the church to commemorate the country’s murder victims. The wall itself is perhaps also a symbol of his own decades long fight to keep the country’s focus on solving the root of criminal activity.

Today, Bishop Hall is critical of a “lackluster” showing by the Christie administration and its Minster of National Security Dr Bernad Nottage. He said that while he considered Dr Nottage a “man of substance” he has thus far done nothing to distinguish himself from the legacy of the former Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest.

“His coming to office has not brought the oomph that I thought it would and he’s not proven himself to be much better than Tommy Tunquest who had a lackluster performance in office. In light of the fact that the PLP while in opposition spent the election campaign talking about the number of murders in the country, I thought they would have brought some needed energy in the fight against crime,” Bishop Hall said.

According to local legal experts, in the past decade the judgments of the Privy Council have shown that the London based court has a deeply rooted philosophical objection to capital punishment. There is the belief that as long as the Privy Council remains the country’s final court of appeal, it is extremely doubtful that capital punishment will be carried out in The Bahamas.

This, Bishop Hall feels, has created a lack of fear among criminals of what has become a toothless justice system.

“They have no fear of Dr Nottage, the justice system, the court, the police or going to jail. If we can’t have the death penalty then we have to replace it with something else. If we are not going to hang people we need to have creative punitive measures that will send a clear message to criminals. It seems like these parties when they are in opposition seem to have a lot to say about crime, but when they become the government they hesitate,” Bishop Hall said.

Community activist Rodney Moncur said that he has been disappointed by the Christie administration’s response to crime and doubts if the public is getting the full story with regard to the actual crime levels in the country.

Last month, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade announced a drop in major crimes in the Bahamas of 13 per cent from January 1 to April and denied rumours that the police force was doctoring the statistics.

However, Mr Moncur said through his own personal experiences he knows that a lot of crime in the Bahamas goes unreported by many victims and under-reported by the police. This has led Mr Moncur, for better or for worse, to launch his own crime reporting network of sorts on Facebook.

“There are many shootings that are not being reported in the media which indicates to me that they are not sharing everything,” he told The Tribune.

Mr Moncur, who is also a Justice of the Peace with his office in Grants Town fears that the government scaling back on the number of Urban Renewal centres in over the hill communities could affect crime as well. After the closure of one of the offices in his area in the last six months Mr Moncur said that there has been an escalation in what he describes as a turf war between rival groups of men.

“Last week we had a group of men heavily armed, fighting a turf war through Fleming and Dunmore Streets which culminated in a young man being shot attempting to run into the Fleming Street Clinic.

“Any objective look will show that crime is out of control in this country. We are in a serious crisis and the political leadership is not addressing the issue by speaking to the lawless persons in society. If all of the political leaders would address this problem we could be better off,” he said.

Comments

TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Good morning Bahamaland and glory be to God across our Islands, if we can only get the Comrade Bishop to pause to take time out before he says all the comical things he has become so accustomed to bring forward, via the pages of The Tribune. It's like a Monday morning humour piece written by a highly respected Preacherman's

Oh really, like Hubert and his minister for the people's security Tommy T, had fulfilled their commitments to keep our Bahamaland safe from the thugs. Bishop you make me laugh when you talk like thugs is some new criminal industry which only sprung up in frightened communities, since Decision Day 2012, kicked Hubert and Tommy T's regime out of office?

Bishop you sure knows how to put the natives in one good comical mood this Monday morning.

Amen!

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PKMShack 1 year, 7 months ago

Is everything about the PLP AND FNM, is crime out of control and are those in position doing their best to do anything about it. Tal you make me laugh with your post, you are funny.

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lazybor 1 year, 7 months ago

this is the proof of the failures of our governors

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

Let me say this and hope you'all read this da right way....It ain't no coincidence that young Bahamian men are killing up each other, bodies being found all over the place like when the cowboys and da indains use to have their confrontations in dem ole movies. Cowboys and Indians? well by grabs..who use to sell them therr rifles to the indians? and who use to tell them them therr indians da cowboys was a comin and wat direction dey was a coming from? So who is a selling these blasted guns to bahamians and who is a telling them who to kill wit dem? ok so now dat we gat dat rite dere establish, why is da police a still chasin afta dead bodies> If you caan establish by a good measure who is a killin people and leavin da dead bodies, den you should try to find where dem guns cummin from? and den you should make it next to impossible for any negro to have a gun without facin serious consequences.. mus less have da darn armunition and fire one of dem dere weapons off...consequences like 5 years in h m prisons, for da first offence 10 darn years for the second ocasion and move ya family up therr if you get caught 3 times wit a by darnnet weapon..ok so you gats my drift. ANY OLE HOW YALLS AINT SERIOUS ABOUT SOLVING DIS CRIME STIUATION cause da ole yankee still pulling da (puppet) strings..in my own thoughts ainn no such ting as independence Bahamas, excpt when yalls celebrate it on da park..erry ting else is fantasy so have a good 40 one on me

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 7 months ago

since you are suggesting we take no responsability for our crime rate it is the "yankees " fault ,can we take the credit for being better killers since the U/S homocide rate is 4 per 100,000 and ours is 27 per 100,000 ..of course i,m making fun of you and being sarcastic ,,you are a laugh riot ..

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

Go and do your reaseach and find out how people in Harlem and the Bronx and in Philly and Chicago and other inner cities in the USA use to go to bed at nite, then wake up the next morning and find trailer loads of guns and tons of armunition in their own back yards. Do your reaserch then get back to me.

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 7 months ago

what would you like me to google " falling asleep and waking up with trailer loads of guns in your back yard " where do you get this stuff ?? you basically insult all Bahamians by proclaiming none of us has any self will ,,,your xenophobic ,conspriracy theories crack me up ....are you saying all other nationalities are so dumb that the " yankees " can basically subvert their self will and control them ,,??get to it @john you know you want to call me an uncle tom or a white cracker ,,come on bro your so predictable ,,lmfao

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