By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade said yesterday he does not support a national curfew, but would back a return of the death penalty if the public supports it.
Last week, DNA Leader Branville McCartney recommended the government impose a curfew in New Providence in response to the high level of crime.
However, Mr Greenslade said the entire county should not held hostage by the actions of a few.
“The Bahamas is still a vibrant democracy and this is still a beautiful country. I believe it is wrong for us to just take a blanket and put it over this country and call us bad people. I have said before and I will say it again, there is a core group of prolific offenders who have been in and out of the system offending against our people giving the Bahamas a bad name. We must find a way upon arresting and charging these people to allow them due process but to keep them away from society so that they can no longer cause harm and fear to our people,” he said.
“Yes we do have things that are happening that shouldn’t have and these are crimes that are being committed by people that we deem to be bad people, people that are not properly socialized, do not wish to be socialized, do not respect you, do not respect me, do not respect any institution of government and we as a people are going to have to say enough is enough. I believe Bahamians should be proud we live in a country where we are free to go where we wish to go. Our children, who are decent they should be allowed to enjoy the Bahamas in a democratic framework and we should never subscribe to being held hostage by a core group of people who we can deal with.”
When asked if he thinks enforcing the death penalty would cause a decrease in crime, Mr Greenslade declined to give his personal view, but said he will support it, if it’s what the public wants.
He said: “I am going to answer you the way I answered before and while I am not going to speak pointedly to it I will tell you what has been said to me and the Commissioner has to listen when the public speaks and members of the public have called me to say ‘Commissioner we are of the view,’ and this is what the public is telling me, ‘that if John Brown murders someone and John Brown receives the punishment appropriate to what he has done and is executed then you won’t have to tell us that he is a repeat offender and that he has murdered three other people.’ I am telling you what members of the public have told me, I am sorry I cannot answer it any other way.”
Mr Greenslade said he is still concerned about the number of repeat offenders out on bail. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Perry Christie revealed that 462 men are on bail for serious offences.