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Crime A Deterrent To Buying In The Bahamas

Fabrice and Julie Dupond.

Fabrice and Julie Dupond.

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A PROSPECTIVE second home-owner seeking to buy a home in New Providence is surprised by the murder rate and reports of the high levels of crime in The Bahamas.

The concern of a couple, one French, the other Canadian, follows the release of the US Department of State’s annual Crime and Safety Report which has again warned Americans of the level of criminal activity against locals and tourists in this country.

Fabrice Dupond, a former policeman of more than a decade in Paris, spoke to The Tribune yesterday at a local eatery with his wife Julie, a lecturer at a university in Edmonton, Alberta.

“I was surprised when I read that in Nassau, there were more than 100 murders the past three years and a lot of armed robberies because it’s a small city when I compare to Edmonton or Paris which has a bigger population. I think it’s really high for a place so small,” he said.

“I saw lots of police officers in downtown, but not too much in other areas like Cable Beach and more so in the non-tourist areas. I think police officers have to be everywhere not only for tourists, but also for locals,” he added.

The US CSR for 2014, released last Wednesday, warns that despite “formidable anti-crime initiatives” enacted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) last year there was a significant increase in violent crimes in locations frequented by American tourists in 2013.

“While there has been a slight reduction in 2013 in some crime categories as reported by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), violent crime remains above the 2012 level,” the report said.

The report added: “Armed robberies, property theft, purse snatching and general theft of personal property remain the most common crimes perpetrated against tourists.

“Many criminals carry firearms, machetes or knives. Unless provoked, criminals engaged in property crimes do not generally engage in gratuitous violence. There have been several reported armed robberies using a knife where the assailant assaulted the victim after the victim fought back and resisted. Many of these armed robberies were snatch-and-grabs involving purses, jewellery and gold necklaces.”

The report pointed to last June’s robbery of a US Embassy employee during which she received minor injuries while on her way to church. It also recalled the home invasion and armed robbery of Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis and his wife as well as the murder of businessman Kurt McCartney, the brother of Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney.

The May 12, 2013, murder of Chicago sailor Kyle Bruner, which sparked a 6-month long hunt for his killer, was also referred to. Bruner, 34, was shot in the neck while trying to help a woman who was being mugged by two armed men in the downtown area.

According to the report, the Bahamas has experienced a “wave” of armed robberies at gas stations, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, banks, and residences. The report said “pre-attack surveillance” is popular among criminals who commit these crimes.

It added that there were several reports of victims being followed home after closing their businesses, some of whom were severely injured.

The number of assault reports also caught the eye of the Americans who noted that sexual assaults in hotel rooms, casinos, outside hotels and on cruise ships had increased.

The report warns visitors to stay from the “Over the Hill” area.

Bahamians have been vocal about the resumption of the death penalty in view of the series of crime warnings issued by the US.

However, Dupond believes that the issue of the death penalty is “a very tricky question.”

“There would have to be a very efficient legal system to know if a person is truly involved or had committed murder to be sure before we take his or her life,” he said, adding that “in Paris and Edmonton, we do not have the capital punishment.”

He did, however, note that the punishment for serious crimes in France could be a lot stiffer than they are now.

“For example, rapes or bank robberies, criminals can get five years in jail so I think it’s not appropriate to give so little for that type of crime,” he said.

Comments

TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

Comrade reporter Lamech while there is no denying Nassau in particular is experiencing far too many murders with Grand Bahmama's crime on the increase, you might have wanted to have reminded Comrades Fabrice and his Canadian wife Julie, that "because of an increase of murders in her own Home Town of Edmonton," Canada's murders jumped to the highest levels it has been in some years. Maybe The Tribune can check to see if this couple have been as media outspoken about all the murders in Edmonton as they seem so eager to engage our local media in while visiting Bahamaland?

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242smt 5 years, 1 month ago

Edmonton's murder rate spiked in 2011 to 4.17 per 100,000 people. It has since dropped to 2.68. Canada's average rate - 1.56 per 100,000.

Bahamas murder rate - 34.1 per 100,000 in 2012. Edmonton is pretty damn safe compared to the Bahamas. Huge, huge difference. Let's not pretend otherwise.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 1 month ago

Mr. or Ms. Johnson where did you find these people who are afraid to buy second homes in the Bahamas? just out of the blue? Inquiring minds would like to know.

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carlh57 5 years, 1 month ago

people afraid to now purchase here are easy to find....just ask any realtor.....

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Purcell 5 years, 1 month ago

I left the Bahamas to raise my children in Canada because I was concerned about violent crime and quality of affordable education. I lived in Nassau for 11 years. I love the Bahamas and still feel home sick. However it is not for bringing my children up sorry.

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TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

Comrades these are the spur of the moment lazy journalism stories which can do more harm to Bahamaland than the couple of Billboards the PLP put up back in 2012. The Tribune lead the 2012 General Elections campaign with Hubert back in 2012 as the leading criticizers of those "Tourists Damaging Billboards," which unlike the International reach of The Tribune, were only locally seen. How could we not question why this couple were selected out of the millions of visitors to be interviewed?

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Purcell 5 years, 1 month ago

Russel you are not doing your country any favors if you downplay the problems. First step to fixing things is to admit them. You can be a patriot AND talk about the problems.

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wearedone 5 years, 1 month ago

Looks like Twisted Lime to me. Not really all that expensive.

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Purcell 5 years, 1 month ago

Anything other than Bamboo is rich people's restaurant for you?

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ohdrap4 5 years, 1 month ago

Man once told me he took his wife to expensive restaurants.

Like where?, I replied.

Benningan's, he answered.

Everything is relative.

You can buy much cheaper in Vieques or the Virgin Islands.

We pat plenty for housing here, even in Pinewood.

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SP 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's look at the major cause of crime.

Despite the PLP & FNM ducking responsibility by pointing fingers at fatherless homes, everyone with sense knows our crime problem is resultant of a lack of education and opportunity.

NOT ONCE.......Has the PLP or FNM admitted failure in anything.

Last week Christie said "softening in the tourism industry" caused the country to under-perform in tourism and stunt overall growth.

What he didn't say was the "softening in tourism" is only a Bahamas problem caused by decades of PLP & FNM neglect of our tourism product.......not a regional problem.

Jamaica and everywhere else in the region are seeing increases in tourism, job opportunities and reduction in crime.

http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headl...">http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headl...

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JoesSound 5 years, 1 month ago

Remove illegal immigrants who should not be taking up the jobs and that would vacate jobs for the locals and put people back to work so they can earn a living instead of having to sell drugs, steal or those types of things just to buy food.

I toured Long island with a realtor a couple of years ago, no crime there but Nassau is bursting at the seams, Freeport too and Eleuthera on the way and eventually it will spread to southern islands. No way I want to be holding land in a place where people dont want to go. Start with deportations and then rely on public tips and once the public and the police work together it can only get better. Lets hope.

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