By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday he sees “nothing wrong” with the United States warning its citizens about the prevalence of “rape and armed robbery” in New Providence.
In fact, Dr Minnis said if the Bahamas government protected its citizens the way the American
government does, Bahamians would not be “afraid and terrified all the time.”
Dr Minnis’ comments came two days after an American warning about crime in the Bahamas expressed concern over home invasions and a recent spike in reported sexual assaults.
According to the US warning, an American woman was the victim of a kidnapping and violent sexual assault last month.
The US Embassy in Nassau released the alert on Monday to US citizens living or travelling to the Bahamas. It cautioned Americans to be on heightened alert to avoid being victims of crime. The warning also noted that criminals had become more brazen, committing attacks in areas where tourists visit.
Dr Minnis said the United States has the right to protect it citizens and warn them of potential dangers. He said if the PLP government took crime just as seriously, crime rates would be down.
“The Americans’ job is to protect its citizens and this is something the Bahamas government is doing a terrible job at. America has a right to inform its citizens and advise them to take precautions. The Bahamas is not doing its job in this aspect,” Dr Minnis said.
“This government promised that they would reduce crime but they are obviously out of their depth. They demonstrate to us that they have already lost. They have Prime Minister Perry Christie saying they are going back to the drawing board, and then the minister of national security saying they are always at the drawing board. So which one is it? Someone at this board is sleeping. The Minster of State for National Security (Keith Bell) said rape is up, then the Commissioner (Ellison Greenslade) said rape is down. They are confused and they are losing the confidence of the Bahamian people.”
Dr Minnis said if the government does not get a handle on crime it will cause the economy to take a hit that will likely lead to an increase in taxes.
“If the US continues to send out these crime warnings, the economy will deteriorate and the tourist market will be affected. Then, because the government has no solutions, they will increase taxes to make up for their incompetence.”
Dr Minnis said the PLP is scrambling to come up with new solutions to crime because the country has yet to see the results from their first crime solution – Urban Renewal 2.0.
Last Thursday, Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage said the National Security Council of the Bahamas, chaired by Prime Minister Perry Christie, agreed to new initiatives aimed at curbing the recent spike in certain types of criminal activity in New Providence.
However, he would not say what these initiatives are.
The new strategies follow the home invasion and murder of Blair resident Andre Cartwright last week Tuesday. On the same night, a Fox Hill resident was shot and killed while riding his bicycle through the area. Another man was shot and killed Monday night bringing the year’s murder count to 99, according to police.