PM ‘walking on eggshells’ in the fight against crime

Prime Minister Perry Christie

Prime Minister Perry Christie


Tribune Staff Reporter


AMIDST the recent scourge of homicides, Prime Minister Perry Christie said he is being “subjected to walking on eggshells” despite his claims of wanting “the madness on our streets to end”.

Mr Christie was speaking at the fifth annual United States-Caribbean High-Level Citizen Security Dialogue (HLCSD) last Thursday at Atlantis. He stressed that on an island “seven miles wide and 21 miles long” logic dictates that he commits all the necessary resources needed by law enforcement authorities to best protect society.

Those comments followed a Tribune report that revealed that murders in the first five months of 2015 in the Bahamas were up five per cent compared to crime statistics from January 1 to May 31 last year – 63 as against 60.

“I am convinced, I have to be convinced that there is a great deal more that we can or should be doing to fight this common menace,” Mr Christie said. The Centreville MP admitted that he is “challenged” by the establishment that he has inherited as Prime Minister and as the Chairman of CARICOM, the group of 14 regional countries.

“Philosophically my terms of reference as an elected representative is to solve the problem,” Mr Christie said. “The eggshells is a reference to the division that exist between the military establishment and the police establishment. And to the Bahamian people, to the people of the region; they would like to understand the extent to which governments appear paralysed in the face of this continuing slaughter of our future.”

Shortly after 10pm on June 1, 36-year-old Vance Franky Fenelus, of Apple Street, was shot multiple times a short distance from the home he shared with his wife and two young sons. Police said the victim was sitting on a wall with several men in front of a home on Peach Street when a man armed with a handgun approached him and shot him several times before fleeing the area on foot.

His wife, 33-year-old Otancia Fenelus, described her husband of little over a year as “loving, friendly, peaceful, family-oriented man, murdered without reason”.

Referring to the influx of guns and the crimes subsequently committed with them, Mr Christie said that “what we have captured are the chilling continuation of killings ... The outcome today is important so that it is not just another convocation where ideas are shared, the limitations of what we can do together is pronounced and the killings continue. And that is why I departed from my speech, to tell you how I feel. And to tell you the enormous frustration that bureaucratic inertia produces,” he added.

“We don’t have the right when it comes to solving the challenges of our country to sit down and talk about traditionally you don’t do this and you don’t do that,” Mr Christie said. “Some talented, gifted individual is being slaughtered. And whilst I have you gathered here this is why the predicate today for me is we can do more and we can do better and we must.

“That’s the reality we face, because some Sydney Poitier is being killed everyday, he is one of ours. Some talented, gifted individual is being slaughtered.”

Less than two days after the death of Mr Fenelus, two men who knew each other were involved in an argument at a home at Butlers Way off Carmichael Road. According to reports, one shot the other in the chest with a handgun. The victim was rushed to hospital, where he was listed in serious condition.

Prime Minister Christie said government and law enforcement officials “can do more” and “can do better”. The CARICOM Chairman warned United States officials at the HLCSD that while they are “directed to affairs in the Middle East”, there is enough “trouble and potential” in the Caribbean region to spawn major acts of violence.

“In small countries we don’t have the right to when it comes to protecting the people of the country to allow military lines or police lines or professional lines to divide us or prevent us from spontaneously and pragmatically shifting to the priority; stop the madnesses,” he said.

The HLCSD by design strengthens the United States’ citizen security partnership with Caribbean nations as it defines current and emerging threats to citizens and communities within the region.

Before the 2012 general election the Christie administration campaigned on the promise that it had the required solutions to end the scourge of crime plaguing the country. However, in each of the administration’s three years in office, there has been a rise in murders compared to previous year.

During his budget communication the Prime Minister said the government planned to invest a “significant” amount of money in the Royal Bahamas Police Force in an effort to boost its presence and visibility around New Providence. He stressed that crime remained one of the greatest issues facing the country. “Investments in police equipment, in the form of cars, surveillance and protection equipment, are highlighted in this year’s capital budget,” he said.


DillyTree 8 years, 3 months ago

If the PLP and the Bahamas Police force cannot get a handle on crime, we need to bring in police from elsewhere. This way, they have no partisan sympathies and just get the job done. Ain't going to be no more my sister's uncle's cousin can fix that bail or that ticket for you. You screw up, you go to jail. Oh, and no bail.

And if the PLP wants a nice construction project that could create a few jobs -- how about a new prison to keep all these criminals in? One that doesn't have a revolving door.

Forget the eggshells approach here -- we need a bull in the china shop!


realfreethinker 8 years, 3 months ago

I dont mind a new prison,just make sure he and his croonies go there too.


sansoucireader 8 years, 3 months ago

And build that new prison and detention centre on others islands, not New Providence.


Well_mudda_take_sic 8 years, 3 months ago

Bozo the clown is now agitating for the creation of a military state, i.e. a state not policed by a civil police force but rather by the likes of our defense force. The unemployable D- educated youth of our country would be recruited in great numbers by the new military regime of the Bahamas (to reduce unemployment) and be armed to the teeth with the latest assault weaponry and military equipment so that politicians controlling the government like Perry Christie can turn them loose on anyone in our society who opposes their corrupt wishes or other dastardly deeds. It seems Christie now wants to sign lucrative contracts with big players in the global military establishment who are well known (much more so than FIFA) for plying their trade with "greasing" funds paid into the right person's foreign bank accounts. Stay tuned for more Christie urging that we militarize our existing police force and combine it with our existing defense force followed by announcements of the signing of very costly contracts for the importation of military weapons and equipment. Christie clearly wishes to turn us into the likes of a North Korea with himself as the Supreme Ruling Emperor using the opportune excuse of the failure of our under-resourced police force to bring under control the rampant crime created by his failed social and economic policies. This is a most scary thought and would only lead to a massive increase in the number of weapons imported into our small nation which undoubtedly would eventually end up in the wrong hands. I for one would much prefer Christie break both his legs walking on the egg shells he talks about rather than enabling him to turn the Bahamas into a military state with himself declared as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces!


duppyVAT 8 years, 3 months ago

PGC is so right .............. he finally admitted it .................... he has been walking on eggshells all of his life ................. both personally and politically


proudloudandfnm 8 years, 3 months ago

Can Perry ever make any sense? What the hell is talking about? What military establishment and how is it interfering with our ability to fight crime?!?!?

Is Perry just old or is he drinking? Cause he just can't make any sense anymore man....


realfreethinker 8 years, 3 months ago

That stroke is affecting him. he done gone and lose him mind


Reality_Check 8 years, 3 months ago

We now have 'illegal' web shops on just about every street corner with their Bahamian front men tied to organized crime in Vegas and Macau, and Christie has the audacity to try and use the very seeds of crime that he himself has sown in our society, as the basis and justification for turning our country into a military state under his command as the supreme ruler! What a corrupt megalomaniac of an arse Christie is!!


ChefSmith 8 years, 3 months ago

Let me ask these question of all the political parties ; instead of the greed for power , why arent they out in the communites trying to motivate and teach young people in some form of mentoring programs. Truth is politics is a fairy tale game that have been use to decieve the people , leave them in despair and anger. What we have on our hands is year of false hope that was created. Well the first approach to this , is when the PM comes out and say " am sorry for make this a political issue in 2012 , I was wrong " . Then we have to work in the corruption issues: more accountability. Let's not forget we have the church that keeps getting bigger and multiple in numbers. That's another form of exploitation ; as most of the pastors are their for a show. Who got the largest membership or who gets the best church or ride. Where are the parents in all this , sitting in the same setting as a child. Mothers often curse the father's as no good , then expecting then to get better. As a country we can do so much better , if we start to reach out in the areas needing attention.


ThisIsOurs 8 years, 3 months ago

Eggshells, suck teeth. What happened to that magic map he discovered some time back?


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