Prime Minister Perry Christie
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Perry Christie said despite crime statistics showing decreases in serious crimes last year, the government is pushing “even harder” to improve the lives of Bahamians – beginning with a door-to-door survey.
Speaking with the press, Mr Christie said the new initiative will give the government a better understanding of the needs and of the persons in crime ridden communities.
“We came in and we came in saying that we are going to make a best effort at being able to improve the situation on crime. When one Bahamian is hurt that is a bad statistic, so I really don’t pay attention to reductions by percentages and so forth and so on, all I know is the government has a full uncompromised intention to be able to improve the life of people living in communities,” he said.
“We are doing a house-to-house in three constituencies now and the intention of that house-to-house is to inform us in every detail the challenges that people are facing and what could cause young men in particular to go wrong. We are going to have a reading that the country has never had before. Some of us who are politicians would have had an insight into what we find when we go to these homes, but now we have had professionals prepare a statistical questionnaire and that those questions will be asked and the answers will be given.
“I just agreed with the church yesterday with no objection to them being a full participant in going house-to-house in this area because they too should be involved in it now.”
In addition to the new survey, Mr Christie said the government will give the police force all the equipment they need to perform their duties.
Last week, Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage said Urban Renewal is set to launch a door-to-door survey in New Providence in an effort to determine the prevalence of factors that lead to crime.
Announcing the survey as part of Operation Ceasefire yesterday Dr Nottage said it will investigate questions such as: living conditions, crime, social behaviour, special circumstances of households, employment status, education, and persons with special needs.
The minister – who represents Bain and Grants Town, one of the areas targeted in the survey – said it is often suggested that MPs already know the problems in their constituencies.
Phase One of the survey will be conducted in Bain and Grants Town, Centreville and Englerston.
The survey questionnaire is in two parts. The first relates to social and economic conditions and the second to the concept of crime in communities.
The Inspector in charge of the Four Urban Renewal Offices in the target constituencies will supervise the administration of the survey.
The data will be collected by individuals who are familiar with the communities, Dr Nottage said.
They will include trained social workers, officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force, who are normally assigned to the Urban Renewal Offices, and individuals from the communities.