Commissioner: Judicial System Letting Us Down


Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade

POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade criticised the judicial system this week, saying that he and members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force are disturbed to see persons who are arrested for egregious acts back out on the street soon after they are brought before the courts.

The commissioner’s frustrations seem based on the feeling shared by many in his force, that the RBDF appears to be running a veritable catch and release programme where violent criminals are put back on the street soon after they have been arrested.

“If we arrest John Brown we do not wish to see him walking the streets of our communities a few short weeks or months after a serious charge. If you would like to help us solve crime, let us keep the people we brought to the halls of justice for very serious crimes. Let us keep them in a place where they can no longer hurt our people and give them their fair day before the law,” the commissioner said.

Mr Greenslade stood by the women and men of the RBDF saying that they have done and continue to do all they can to keep the population safe.

“We are very concerned at the carnage we see in our communities. I must hasten to say, however, much to the dismay of a lot of people, I make no apologies about what I am going to say. We arrest people, and we are very disturbed when for the most egregious actions, for the most serious crimes, with deadly and offensive weapons having harmed our people all across our communities, a few short weeks after the initial arrest we are again having to arrest these same people for other crimes,” the commissioner said.

The commission said that fingers should not be pointed to one single organization and everyone needs to get on with doing the work of reclaiming the country from the hands of criminals.

“I have never abdicated my role as commissioner and I will not. I will not allow others to abdicate their roles, but we cannot do it by ourselves,” he said.

The commissioner said that the country cannot continue in the manner in which it is going today and reminded the public that everyone has a responsibility to assist the police in their work.

So far for the year 135 illegal weapons have been confiscated by police and murder is down by 16 per cent over the same period last year. The commissioner admitted, however, that because of the sensational nature and the severity of the crimes being committed the perception is there that things are getting worse.

“I have continued to say to members of the public about how proud I am about the good work that has been done by members of the police force constantly for many years. You can ask me a commissioner every single day what it is that we are doing. What we are doing is evident for all to see. We continue to do the best we can. There is always room for improvement, but we can only play our role and we can only continue on giving effective law enforcement service in the country,” he said.


Genus86 7 years, 6 months ago

Who is the editor ? There are so many references to the RBDF when you are clearly talking about the RBPF. Get it together.


My5Cents 7 years, 6 months ago

Agree with him. Too much ankle bracelets committing crimes


concernedcitizen 7 years, 6 months ago

truth be told our judicial system is failing ,our educational system is failing and our moral compass is broken,,,


bismark 7 years, 6 months ago

its no secret those defence lawyers break a law or two,lock their asses up for a change


henny 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree wholehartedly with the Commissioner. I can understand his and the RBPF's dissatisfaction after going out of their way to arrest these people only to have them released to the streets to commit the same crime plus possibly others.

As for the editor.......We all should know by now the articles are not proofread!! Talk about the education system!!!


bismark 7 years, 6 months ago

I wholeheartedly support you on this statement Commissioner,i don't see why a suspect has been charged with a serious crime and back on the streets,it is demoralizing to those hardworking officers who have tried their best to bring in the slime off the streets,but I have one word of advice,the police need to lock up some of those attorneys,they need to be scrutinized more often,it is a known fact that they sometimes dabble on the wrong side of the law.


John 7 years, 6 months ago

First off no one accused of comitting murder should ever be granted bail. Guys are now killing two, three and four times and coming out to brag and celebrate, putting teardrops under their eyes tattoed with pride. One for each person they kill. Bring these animals to swift justice and keep them locked away until such time as we stop fooling ourselves and see the need for capital punsihment. Secondly, everyone knows that there is something wrong with our court system. Persons are spending more time in jail for small amounts of drugs than persons spend for comitting serious and violent crimes. And criminals have adopted the sit and wait game. When your case doesn't come to trial in a timely manner you get bail and if it never comes to trial you are free. Many of these judges and lawyers who let and get criminals off easliy live in gated communities, where (for now) they do not feel the full brunt of crime, and others (judges) are foreigners who will pack their bags after their staint on the bench and return home. One time ago persons use to fear going to Fox Hill Prison...now they willing to do time up there standing in a corner on their heads.Many call it home or a place for a short vacation. Need to put justice back in the courts..and punishment back in the prisons.


john33xyz 7 years, 6 months ago

YOU could be "accused" of committing murder, silly. That could be YOU in prison for 5 years waiting on a trial. That is why OUR Constitution protects US from trumped up charges holding us in prison forever. People always say "those people". It's not "those people" - it's you. You just haven't been accused yet. Believe me, anything can happen at anytime. You can one day find your whole life turned upside down in a jiffy - and wonder what the heck happened. Then people will be saying - "Oh, that guy - he's a murderer". And that would be you - even though you are innocent. Our Constitution was not written by idiots, nor was it written for "them" - it was written for YOU.


TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

I have never seen any figures in the media detailing the total amount and breakdown of the annual police overtime bill?

What percentage of overtime pay accounts for the total police wages over the past 12 months? What percentage in overtime is being paid out to officers, compared to front-line policeman's?

What is the total amount being earned by all members of the Force, from businesses and individuals they private security services for?


ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

I sympathize with the Commissioner, this is not an easy problem to solve, it has been years in the making and will need years in the resolution.

The Commissioner could probably put his first complaint to BJN, who shortly after elected said something like ~the prison sentences were too harsh and the govt would be reviewing them...

Is the Commissioner's team as equally disturbed to see people using legitimate businesses as a cover for illegal activity? White collar crime is crime and very often is the source of funding for more nefarious activity... Attack it all, do not reward criminal activity. The Comissioner is right in saying that the courts contribute to the problem but they cannot be used as the scapegoats. The justices could just as easily point to the prisons and say there's no place to house the criminals, the prisons could point to the homes and say look at the young people we're producing, the homes could look at society and say you haven't given me a chance here, it's my environment. They are all correct.

We pay a group of people a hefty salary each year to oversee these complex issues and produce comprehensive solutions. Sadly some of them cannot even read properly. Bahamians must start realizing, at the constituency level what an awful power a vote is. If each constituency has a competent representative, it will not matter which party is in power. Honest, hard working men (who respect women) and feel the weight of every decision they make about our lives.

Too idealistic no doubt as I hear we now have a Director of Religious Tourism or some such title...


wave 7 years, 6 months ago

Commiss, it's time to admit that you are way, way over your head and in need of help. Now the question is, is your pride bigger than your ego or vise versa?


Unproud242 7 years, 6 months ago

How many other countries do you see where crimes are solved so quickly. Murderers are literally apprehended days after these crimes are committed. The reason there is no end to this crime is because there are no major consequences for these actions. You would sooner be put in jail for'stealing electricity' than killing someone. Our justice system has to be among the worst in the region, if not the world.


john33xyz 7 years, 6 months ago

Too many people spending too long in prison for petty crimes - clogging up the prison and the courts.

Serious crimes cannot be brought to trial in a timely manner, and therefore by our Constitution they must be set free. People do not understand how important that is to protect people from being sent to prison for no reason.

If you are ACCUSED of a crime and arrested (a crime you did not do) - do you really want to spend 5 years in jail waiting for trial? Think about it. This could be you ! That is why the system lets them go. The courts won't give them a trial in a reasonable time.

The Commish is right that they should not be out in just a few weeks though. A few weeks is too short, and not unreasonable.

The problem is SIMPLE to solve really - but Bahamians do not want to pay the taxes to solve it. What if a 5% duty was added to all breadbasket food store items - and stores were not allowed to raise the prices of these goods by more than the amount that 5% would justify ? People would complain that the poor were being abused.

The money would be used to build SEVEN more court rooms and supply them with SEVEN more judges and 14 more court stenographers (those being one of the main reasons why cases are delayed - when they decide to go to the beach for the day).

That costs money. Are you willing to pay for it with SLIGHTLY higher prices for bread, sugar, flour, eggs, cooking oil ? Why these items instead of gas tax or head tax? Because everyone would then have to pay - not just some people.

A referendum on that would have made a whole lot more sense than satisfying the silly urges of the church builders.

Let the people decide if they want to pay for a good court/criminal system. Also the same vote would demand (if you vote yes) that criminal sentences for possession of drugs be reduced to 5 times less than what they are now, and for possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana there be no penalty.

But that won't happen. The church won't allow it. It's a choice for people to make. Keep giving your money to the churches who oppose civilization and keep reaping the results of out of control crime. Don't stop now. Someone will be murdered in the next 7 days - most likely.

Every time you see a church being built - think about the money spent on the building materials and ask yourself - "Why are those building materials NOT being used to build another courtroom?"


Tino 7 years, 2 months ago


The Judicial System does have its challenges; however, you are a part of the judicial system. identify the issues and agitate that they must be addressed. additionally, I am disappointed Commissioner that more than 8months after the referendum on gambling, number housed are opening up on average one a week. Lets address this high degree of lawlessness and racketeering!



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