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Wilchcombe: Murder Record Is A Disgrace

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

BY SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe conceded that the Progressive Liberal Party made crime a political issue, but said the party has learned from that experience and realises now that everyone must work together to combat crime.

During an interview with The Tribune, Mr Wilchcombe said instead of pointing the finger at politicians for the increase in murders, Bahamians should “get angry and march against it.”

Mr Wilchcombe also told The Tribune that the new murder record is “disgraceful.“ However, he said, while the rise in murder has not impacted the tourism industry thus far, the country needs to “reverse this negative trend” before the Bahamas’ brand is negatively affected.

On Sunday, the country recorded its 128th murder for the year after a teenage boy died in hospital hours after he was stabbed at a party on Prince Charles Drive.

The previous murder record came in 2011, which saw 127 killings that year. The PLP, which was in opposition at the time, used the problem of crime and murders as an election tactic.

The party campaigned on the platform that it had the solution to lower violent crime while the Ingraham administration did not. However, since coming to office, the Christie administration has been grappling with the same issue.

“The murder rate is a domestic concern and we are doing all that we possibly can, and must continue to work assiduously to reverse the numbers, to reverse the trend that has unfortunately taken hold in some of our community areas,” Mr Wilchcombe said. “If we want a great country we have (to have) individual responsibility, we all play a role. That’s what’s missing.”

“We politicise things too often. Yes, we understand that the PLP did that and I think we’ve all learned from the experience because truthfully crime has been a nemesis to our nation for a long time and if we’re going to blame the politicians, something is wrong with that picture, the blame ought to be placed on persons perpetuating the crime.

“They ought to feel as though they are not welcome and their behaviour is not accepted. We are blaming others, calling it a record number - it’s not a major achievement and it’s disgraceful, it should not be celebrated. These people should not be able to enjoy the havoc they wreak in this country. We should get angry, but we seem to have this notion against marching. To march is not just to walk around the corner, but to generate the anger required to fight against it. How is the outside world supposed to take us seriously if we don’t stand up for what’s wrong in our country? We have to collectively begin to shoulder the responsibility and fight. It will obviously be used for political hay, political spin given the season we’re entering, but this has been going on for years and we need to confront it.”

On the issue of crime affecting the tourism industry, Mr Wilchcombe said it has not yet, but will if “we continue to ignore the problem”.

“It’s not hurting the brand, but it could hurt the brand so why wait until it happens? Let’s deal with it now while we know the public has not stopped coming to our shores, while there has been no campaign to stop visitors from coming,” Mr Wilchcombe said.

“We have been doing good. The numbers are good but we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to do more to ensure we reverse this negative trend and get back to peace and hospitality. It’s not good when visitors feels unsafe or when cruise ships warn to be careful where you go, we don’t want that, we can do without that but the only way that it can happen is if we work together to stop it.”

His comments came after Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd said crime is not the fault of the government and the way forward is for all of the stakeholders to “get together around the table, including the government.”

Bishop Boyd said: “The level of criminal activity and violence in the Bahamas has been too high for far too long, and it is getting worse especially in the areas of murder and domestic violence. There is no ‘silver bullet’ that would instantly reduce this level except for everyone to come together.”

Comments

realfreethinker 6 years ago

This government is an even bigger disgrace. Our PM is a disgrace,his band of merry "men and women is a disgrace. not only did the murder count and crime go up under this crew,so did stealing our money,

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BoopaDoop 6 years ago

PLP Christie lead government is "Disgraceful" I say march against DEM.

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asiseeit 6 years ago

The disgrace is the fact that not one PLP politician has admitted that they LIED about having the answer to crime. The PLP said whatever they thought would get them elected which where a bunch of LIE"S. Anything to get power so you can steal from the people, right you scum.

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asiseeit 6 years ago

If the Bahamian people start to march against anything it will be this disgusting government.

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Romrok 6 years ago

If we could get the Bahamian people to march at all we could get elections call early, and really tarnish PGC's legacy.

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B_I_D___ 6 years ago

They too fat to march...unless you bribe them with food and/or alcohol, then they may get off their fat a$$e$

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hurricane 6 years ago

These folks are way over their head and havent a clue how to run a country and solve real problems. You guy were bamboozled in electing them with their sharp suits and slick talk...you deserve what you have gotten.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 years ago

An even bigger disgrace than our murder record is Wilchcombe himself!

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John 6 years ago

Is it a little too late to march now. More murders are out of jail than those who have been convicted. Marching will not fix that

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Honestman 6 years ago

"TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe ..... realises now that everyone must work together to combat crime"

Well we could have told him that in 2012 when his Party were erecting those ridiculous Billboards around the country. But NOW we all have to work together. They are beneath contempt.

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All4One 6 years ago

No sh*t, Sherlock! We don't need a MARCH, we need a solution.

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SP 6 years ago

........................................ Absolute insult to our intelligence .........................................

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe obviously believes Bahamians are totally ignorant!

Exactly what will marching against crime accomplish? I agree with others here that we should march against the PLP and throw the lying, useless bastards out!

Fact is Bahamas crime epidemic is the direct result of PLP and FNM failure to educate our people and stimulate economic development to keep pace with population growth which led to the rise in mass unemployment resulting in people turning to crime for survival.

Add to this incompetence mix Bahamas renown asinine political idiocy of decades of complacency with illegal migrants displacing the Bahamian workforce and government selling 50,000 work permits for low end blue collar jobs and the equation sums up to where Bahamas finds itself today.

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Bottom line is crime was actually created and perpetuated by politicians that failed the people of the Bahamas!

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by SP

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watcher 6 years ago

Okay Obie. Just so long as the "brand" is not affected, then that's perfectly fine and dandy. Meanwhile in the real world where I live, every day is a worry.....will my car or house be broken into, will a friend or relative be stabbed or shot as part of these turf wars.

But I digress........it's the "Brand" that is important, not the lives of Bahamian citizens

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Economist 6 years ago

Have all the politicians filed their Public Disclosures or are some still breaking the law We need to clean up Parliament first.

They are setting a poor example for others to follow.

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Regardless 6 years ago

...not entirely sure how safe I would feel in a march in Nassau. Who one would be marching to for a solution? Thought the government was supposed to provide public safety.

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TalRussell 6 years ago

Comrades if you think listening to Obediah and Renward does gives you headaches, just you wait until you hear Dr. Andre's explanations as to why he became all PLP disenchanted.
But to his credit, although he still takes da longest possible route round da mulberry bush like Renward does - he is not so scripture quoting.
That's good, right.
But ain't going be good of a ride into the 2017 General, for Minnis and red company.
Take it from Comrade Tal as being the the full gospel, that Dr. Andre himself knows Renward had NO authority to sign no $650,000 Letter of Intent. Let's hope, unlike Renward, he tells all what he knows about that puzzling LOI?

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Weezie 6 years ago

Everybody beating up the Goverment about crime. But no one offers a solution. What are we to do.

Getting rid of the PLP and replacing them with the FNM will not solve the problem of crime.

Start talking about the solutions because politicians are not the brightest cookies in the cookie jar and they need help.

The bottom line is over 50% of our population are D- and below and they have no broughtupsy! They are unemployable! Dumb, dumb, dumb. So when they have no education, they cannot find a job! So they turn to crime to survive!

Are we prepared to reduce class sizes, lengthen the school year, import a whole load of qualified foreign teachers from English speaking first world countries, get rid of automatic advancement for kids who should not be advanced, increase the subsidy to private schools so they can offer more scholarships to deserving kids, etc etc etc and then raise taxes significantly to pay for this! If not, the situation will only get worse no matter who is in charge AND you all know that!

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wasturrup8493 6 years ago

So now he realizes that fighting crime is everyone's duty. One thing I don't get about the PLP is that they seem to have the spec and log syndrome that Jesus was talking about in 7:1-6. Nothing seems funny when the shoe is on the other foot. The PLP is realizing now that they should've taken the log out of their eye first before talking about the spec in the eye of the FNM. The same subject that they used to overthrow their rivals is now one of the many plagues that is apart of the Achilles heel of this government. With that being said, the problem that I have with all of these politicians and political parties is that they are far too saturated with doctors and lawyers who act the part but really do not have the slightest hint on what it is to rule a country and frankly hardly have control in their own homes.

There is a saying that goes, " Charity starts at home and extends abroad"

If we ever want to see any change in our country especially with the murder rates we have to see more from our leaders, specifically from the men of the cloth. It is really funny how the BCC (Bahamas Christian Council) have so much to say on really minor issues like gambling and they have nothing to say about the murder rate of the country. Instead of preaching feel good and prosperity gospels every Saturday or Sunday, they should be out in the road as Jesus was showing them the path to life more abundant.

As I regress, the problem of crime is very serious and I believe that we as a people need to not only speak up and stand up, but actually do something about it. We need to take our communities back and refuse for our neighborhoods to be asylum to hardened criminals. Let's put aside the colors and screw the politicians. We need to do this for our children and their children after them. When we hand over to them this gift that we call the Bahamas, let us do our best to make sure that it isn't soaked in blood.

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The_Oracle 6 years ago

The current Government along with all those prior have set the pace and led by example. What they have started at the top long ago has inevitably trickled down and destroyed society. The only way to reverse the corruption and apathy is from the top, with Enforcement! Leading by example and certainly not by any of the current crop of politicians as leopards do not change their spots. The issue is there are very few left in society that live beyond reproach and are not scamming at every turn, and of those, very few would "jump into the septic tank" to fix it. So the situation will get worse, much worse, and the conversation will not change, and it will be a hot button election topic of false promises. Start removing nuts and bolts, small parts from a car engine and sooner or later it will fall apart and no longer work. We have dismantled all of the standards and rules of civilized society over the last 47 years, and we expected something different?

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SP 6 years ago

.............................................. PLP releases solution to crime! .................................

March

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