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No Comment On End Of 12-Hour Shifts But Nottage Promises Saturation Patrols

Dr Bernard Nottage

Dr Bernard Nottage

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage said saturation patrols and additional police officers in “hot spots” will continue throughout the Christmas season.

While refusing to comment on whether police were taken off the controversial 12-hour shifts, Dr Nottage said police will continue to do an excellent job during the holidays.

“Surveillance of those areas that are hot spots continues. The police are continuing to do what I think is an incredible job and they will continue to do their jobs. I haven’t seen any changes to tell me that (the 12-hour shift) has stopped. But I will tell you what has not stopped is the saturation of the hot spots, they will continue through the holidays,” he said

“All I know is on Saturday I visited a number of the police stations and policemen were at work and doing what they should be doing. Some of the stations had cars out on patrol and men and women officers on patrol and, although from time to time, we will get hiccups it is not a perfect system. I am reasonably satisfied that they are doing what they have to.”

Dr Nottage also dismissed speculation that the 12-hour shift system is just a “band-aid” on crime and will not fix the situation long term.

He said: “Crime has been with us from Adam and crime will be with us long after I am gone. So I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that what we are doing is going to stop crime completely, but we are using strategies which have had a beneficial affect particularly on violent crime and many of the other crimes and that is what we are seeking to do. Crime can only be stopped when everyone of us decide that we are going to do a personal duty to ourselves, a duty to our children and a duty to our country. Everyone has a duty, even the press. But to say that we can totally get rid of crime is an unreasonable expectation.”

His comments came after sources told The Tribune that the Royal Bahamas Police Force has started to take officers off the 12-hour work shift.

Well placed police sources said detectives, officers of the Central Detective Unit (CDU) and the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) are no longer working the shifts, though their jobs often demand that they work irregular hours.

When asked on Tuesday whether the 12-hour system was being wound down, Commissioner Ellison Greenslade and Police Staff Association (PSA) chairman Dwight Smith declined to discuss the matter.

Mr Greenslade said: “I will not speak to anyone about our rotation system anymore and it was a mistake for me to ever divulge what our system is like or our rotation.

“As Bahamians are preparing to go into the holiday season I want to ensure that they are safe and whatever it takes to keep them safe is what I will do. But I can make one assurance to the Bahamian people and that is as they enter the Christmas Holiday and take to the streets to shop and enjoy merriment I will do whatever it takes to ensure that they are safe while they are out there.”

Following complaints from many officers about the extended hours they are required to work, particularly due to the lack of compensation they are receiving, talks on the matter are now taking place between the association and the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

And while he refused to say whether officers were being taken off the 12-hour shift, Mr Smith did confirm that the Police Staff Association is no longer considering taking legal action against the government at this time.

Comments

John 6 years, 8 months ago

Police must work extra shifts from early December and through the holiday season, and beyond if necessary. And if the additional criminal courts come on stream as promised and are effective in delivering swift penalties and efficient in the handling of crime cases, then we will see a steady decrease in crime. Just as we can see an improvement in the water supply as more and more repairs are made to underground leaks. This foolishness about police being tired is just hogwash propagated by persons who have ulterior motives: some wanting to see the police benefit financially from the additional effort to stamp out crime, and others who do not want to see crime get curbed and put under control. Have we forgotten that not too long ago the average Bahamian worked a 60 hour week and many business owners worked more than NINETY hours a week? This was not out of greed, but it was necessary for their businesses to survive or be successful. Only recently have the work week been cut to 48 hours and even more recently to 40 hours. And was it by some strange parallel,, call it coincidence, that as the work week decreased, the crime rate increased? Soldiers are in active combat in different parts of the world and have going on as little as two and three hours sleep for years with guns firing nonstop and bombs exploding all around them. Our police are supposed to be our frontline, foot soldiers in the war against crime. How can they start to cry and complain about tiredness and fatigue after only a few short weeks in the battlefield?. Just like lil wuss'es or should that be BIG WUSS'es, those who complain!

Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

Colin Powell

If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. .99

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1voice 6 years, 8 months ago

Your comments do not make any sense! Why should the officers kill themselves for ungrateful people, who are unwilling to help, assist or even give information that will help a case. That goes not only for the average citizen but also the business owners, who see things happening and are not willing to assist.

What is the use of having more courts if witnesses refuse to come and testify. The problem with witness tampering will not go away if witnesses refuse to stand up to the intimidation; reason that it has now gotten out of hand.W

Why should the officers have to work more than 40 hours, when no one else has too. You may see them as police who need to do their jobs, but they are human just like you and I. When they are out there, doing more than is required of them, and you are in your bed sleeping, who is there to take care of their families. Will it be you? NO!

The Bahamian people need to stop acting like criminals, that goes for all levels of society, and do what is best for this country. Otherwise they need to move to a different one and see how good it is compared to what others have to deal with.

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 8 months ago

Agree with the sentiment. Yes it's a job that requires a little extra, but very often people speak about them like they're not human, they don't get tired, scared, don't want quality time with families, don't want time to relax etc.

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