By RASHAD ROLLE
THE recent spate of violence should be blamed on organised crime, drug trafficking and other profit seeking activities rather than gang warfare, according to the Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade.
Speaking on the Jeffrey Lloyd show yesterday, the commissioner insisted that traditional gang wars over turf is not the reason for most of the violence in the country despite growing fears that it is.
“No, not as far as I’m concerned,” he said, adding: “The violence is the consequence of organised crime, drug trafficking and certainly these people have a profit motive.”
“I know,” he added, “that there are people on the street who will want to talk about this at some point and my door is always opened. But gang A fighting for turf against gang B – that isn’t what I’m seeing and it is something that I’ve questioned for some time. In the traditional gang activity, you have a gang in one area with markings showing that it’s their area and a gang in the second area with markings and if you cross into that area, you risk being killed simply because you walked into that area. That’s not what we’re seeing. We’re seeing people killing because ‘he stole my dope,’ or because they want to sell dope someone’s patch.”
He added: “Do you understand as a public that there are scores of healthy bodied men that are not fully employed who have taken to a life of crime? Their crime is to steal cars and return a profit or to sell parts of those cars; their crime is to sell drugs and to return a profit and to commit armed robbery so they could purchase whatever they want for themselves and for their family and friends. That is what is happening. Why can’t we open our eyes to it?”
Mr Greenslade also cited statistics noting that crime figures are trending downward. He said: “Saturation patrols, Urban renewal 2.0, intelligence led policing, general umbrella community based policing, and the support received from communities across the Bahamas” is to be credited for the downward trend in crime occurrence.”