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.