By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage yesterday said there was “no room for vigilantism” as the government announced the formulation of new crime-fighting strategies.
He said the National Security Council of the Bahamas, chaired by Prime Minister Perry Christie, yesterday agreed to new initiatives aimed at curbing the recent spike in certain types of criminal activity in New Providence.
However, officials remained tightlipped over the details of these plans.
“It would,” he said, “be foolhardy in the extreme to disclose details of these new measures as to do so would be tipping the hand of law enforcement to the very
persons we are determined to catch and put behind bars.
“We are confident, however, that these new measures will achieve satisfying results within a very short period of time and that the perpetrators of violent crime will be brought to justice and made to feel the full weight of the law.”
Dr Nottage said the public can rest assured knowing the government has no greater priority than intensifying the fight on crime.
The new strategies follow the home invasion and murder of Blair resident Andre Cartwright early Tuesday morning. Cartwright was at his Blair Estates home with his mother and father, when three men kicked in the front door of the house.
The assailants reportedly claimed they were police officers.
The incident has renewed calls for relaxed gun laws, to allow more people to own firearms in a bid to protect themselves.
Speaking on the sidelines of a police recruit graduation, Dr Nottage said: “There is no room for vigilantism in our country period. I think that all that will result in is traumatic experiences for a large number of people, including very innocent people.
“It’s our job to keep the country safe, we are devising new strategies to deal with that and we are satisfied that this is a matter that we can bring under control relatively quickly.”
Dr Nottage explained that the country was experiencing a routine “spurt” in criminal activity, a time when persons are justifiably alarmed and fearful. He expressed confidence in the success of new initiatives, and the ability of officials to get crime under control “relatively quickly”.
“It was a very productive meeting, and we expect over the course of this that our strategy will bear positive results,” he said.
Before the deadly home invasion, the Blair neighbourhood watch reportedly sent out a memo last week encouraging residents to be on the look out for the “fake cops”.
Yesterday, Dr Nottage warned persons to always question any person that approaches their home purporting to be a police officer.
“We do have to question it,” he said, “I advise persons whose homes are approached by people who claim to be police officers not to open their doors. They should call their nearest police station. We have hundreds of vehicles on the road and they should be able to get to any point on New Providence.
Dr Nottage added: “My advice is turn your lights off, get on the phone, call the police control room, and we will provide assistance.”