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Civil Liberties May ‘Have To Be Infringed’ To Fight Crime

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K Peter Turnquest

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said yesterday that such drastic measures as “infringing on civil liberties and limiting freedoms” have to be taken to get a hold on the “crippling crime problem in New Providence.”

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Turnquest said gangs should be labelled as terrorist organisations and tracked and destroyed in ways that “may make some people uncomfortable.”

His comments came one day after two men were killed within hours of each other in the capital, pushing the country’s murder count to 124 for the year, surpassing 2014’s year-end total of 123 murders. The country is on pace to smash the murder record held in 2011 during the Ingraham administration, which saw 127 homicides.

“We have to designate these gangs are terrorist organisations, treat them as such and go after them relentlessly to break them up. It may be time to infringe on civil liberties, limit some freedoms and restrict some liberties to fix the crime problem,” Mr Turnquest said when contacted for comment.

“It may mean doing random searches, questioning persons randomly or searching homes, but we must be serious about this and it won’t be solved with a roadblock. We have to show the criminal element that we are serious. I think in terms of the government’s performance, they have been lacking. There seems to be no communication between the minister of national security and the discipline forces. They have got to get together, get on the same page and have a strategic plan where everyone knows what the objectives are.”

Mr Turnquest also criticised State Minister for National Security Keith Bell for blaming the Free National Movement for the country’s crime problems.

During his Senate contribution on Monday, Mr Bell had said that criminal gangs grew under the FNM’s last term in office. He said that if the former government had “been responsive, a great deal of the violence that we are experiencing today could have been avoided.”

In response, Mr Turnquest said: “They (PLP government) have had three years to fix the problem and all they were doing was twiddling their fingers and passing the blame. Bell, in his diatribe, said criminal gangs flourished under the former administration, adding that the PLP is now left to ‘clean up the mess left by the FNM’s inaction and deal with today’s crime challenges’.

“Bell should remember that it was his government who made the issue of crime a main part of their campaign for the 2012 general elections. They said they had the answers to crime and that if they were elected they would solve, or at least reduce, the number of murders in the country,” Mr Turnquest said.

“Well, they got the chance, and for the past three years, crime, particularly murder, has increased under the PLP government. The murder rate is at a record high of 124 murders for the year and the year is not done yet. The FNM suggests that instead of Mr Bell taking time to cast blame on everyone else, he and the PLP should use that time more wisely and come up with some crime fighting methods that work.

“The time they spend looking back at the FNM government, another young man is being shot in the streets for no apparent reason,” he said.

The country’s latest murder victim, a 45-year-old father of seven, was shot multiple times before dying on the sidewalk of Tonique Williams Darling Highway on Wednesday around 11.30am.

Hours earlier, around 2.30am, a man, standing on Augusta Street, was shot dead.

Comments

banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Various police departments around the world have effective gang units. The trouble is that the RBPF is too backwards to employ sophisticated methods to control gangs.

To wit:
(1) does the RBPF have a database of gang tattoos that they can reference? (2) in all arrests, do they denote gang allegiance and build up a database of gang members? (3) do they create geo-located heat maps of where the gangs operate? (4) do they have predictive analytics datasets that allow them to get a list of suspects with each gang-related murder? (5) do they have data on gang total membership, areas of influence, analytics on types of crimes by different gangs with documented modus operandi? (6) do they do surveillance on key gang members, acquiring evidence for prosecution of organised crime? (7) do they monitor gang member social media? (8) have they built up demographic and sociological profiles of gang members and compare the profiles to arrest records?

I am sure that the fat tubs of lard in the RBPF who carry swagger sticks and beat prisoners, do not have a single iota of knowledge of how to fight gangs.

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realfreethinker 3 years, 10 months ago

"infringe on civil liberties" That's a slippery slope and unacceptable. once you start giving up those liberties where will it end.

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Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

And I can imagine this guy standing there talking to the Tribune thinking he is so smart and "prime ministerial" for suggesting that communist leanings is the answer to our crime problem. Which set of eggs did these people hatch from really?

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Peter if you keep reminding us of a past red regime's despicable behavior against citizens protesting against Papa's sale of BTC, its going be hard not brungs up old red memories.. In fact the Civil Liberties of red House MP's, may just have been "Infringed" by Papa Hubert, right there up on floor Honourabe House of Assembly - red MP's who had threatend to vote against the sale BTC. You do knows all about what I am talking about. Right?

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Sigh .. here we go again -- the truth squad has to correct the red-lover. The BTC sale was the best thing that ever happened to the Bahamas. The corruption regime of Williams et al was retarding national development, as communications is a development indicator. Secondly, the protesters were corrupt PLP cronies with Blue Telecom, wanting to further plunder the public purse.

I know that you are a Kool Aid drinker, but please ...... the truth shall set you free, but obviously you like your ruts.

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Sickened 3 years, 10 months ago

I remember that under SLOP there were several gangs with over 10,000 members each and they came out in force and in colors during the Junkanoo parades. I was a raiders fan at the time and was warned several times not to even where those colors out on bay street. I have never seen or heard of anything that bad in the last 10-15 years. There certainly are violent gangs now and I truly feel sorry for those kids in neighborhoods who are forced to join a gang just to get to school safely. But overall, I would have no issue with rounding up any and all gang members and disposing of them. People are going to die because of gangs and I would rather them die and not us. Do what you have to do police to make us safe. But do it NOW, and do it QUICKLY!

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The_Oracle 3 years, 10 months ago

Crime and gang activities can be laid directly at the feet of the Political, perhaps it is their civil liberties which should be removed! We cannot trust politicians to account for a single dollar, but we are supposed to "trust" them to restore our civil liberties if curtailed or suspended? I be leaving before I'll submit to that crap! Enforce the law, reconstitute the judiciary with beyond reproach Judges Not politically appointed and build a Chinese finger trap prison for 10-15k perps. It's what we should have had under existing law for decades! As to Gangs, well, the PLP enabled and sanctioned them pre '92 in their rallies didn't they?

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Greentea 3 years, 10 months ago

This man should not be the number two in the opposition of this country. Curtailing civil liberties wont work because they cant work now. The minute one bahamian see a politician breaking curfew to run see sweetheart number 10- it over. We want law for errybody else but us. The Bahamas is in some serious straights with crime but some 21st century policing, linked databases, ORGANIZATION and tighter procedures, properly administered and maintained tracking and survelliance systems, a devoted cadre of detectives that DID NOT come up in the ranks, but went to college, did other things and can serve admirably in this capacity would help tremendously. I am of the firm belief that one of the problems with the RBPF is its policy not to hire after a certain age along with a kind of social promotion system- the longer you stay around and do the basic stuff, the higher you rise, even if you haven't had a new idea to save your life in 20 years. Meaning they get people who had few other options while young, who may not be suited for the job in many ways including critical thinking, health, values, ethics, education, leadership qualities, shooting skills, english grammar, ability to figure out complex webs of relationships, interview suspects, and desire for the work. etc. etc. You can't get water from stone. My minimal encounters with the RBDF have been dismal- Try go paying a traffic ticket- how do they find anything? Your house get break into - see how long it takes for them and the finger print people to get to your house while the rain wash away the evidence. Take your time to give statements and see if you ever hear back from them. Understaffed and too scared to hire older, focused and potentially more competent people to help them. Madness.

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Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

So law abiding citizens should lose even more of their freedom already impinged upon by crime, for criminals who will not be made to pay for their crimes anyway. And this is the man who hopes to be Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas? Everette Mackey needs to put some more people in Hitler drag.

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Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

It should always be noted that when a member of the political class makes a statement like this, they are almost never expecting anyone in their class or other "elite" classes to be subject to the Constitutional abuses they suggest may be needed. They expect these abuses to be meted out on the "criminals" - aka, the poor or the lower social classes - the classes that are already subject to such abuses on a regular basis with no immediate recourse. If this man became subject to the same treatment he claims might be needed, he would be screaming bloody murder and accusing the government of trying to intimidate the Opposition.

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Chucky 3 years, 10 months ago

Seems we are now following the rest of the world, you know, any excuse to take away rights, just use that special word "terrorism" and everyone will accept the loss of freedom.

Well should anyone care to notice, there is no terrorism, or almost none to speak of, it's all just a lie!. Just like this crime is no big deal, out of the 140 or 150 that will be killed this year, who cares, for about 95% of them it's good riddance, for the other 5%, well its too bad, sad etc, but if you really look at it, we have very few real murders. Why we even count the low life murder of another low life is beyond me. We should give them bullets, maybe they can get it all done in one year.....

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Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

Seems we are now following the rest of the world, you know, any excuse to take away rights, just use that special word "terrorism" and everyone will accept the loss of freedom

100% correct there!

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Deputy Red Party Leader Peter Turnquest, K. Peter Turnquest, K.P. Turnquest Kevin Peter Turnquest, or whatever name handle he just happens be using on the media on any given press release, is but an otherwise red politician, going unnoticed while treading water as he seeks out whatever media coverage will pay attention him.
For love Jesus, even to his own red party's membership, K.P. does goes about the red party, as an unnoticeable, except when caught sleeping while working. I seriously doubt Peter even has Minnis's or Loretta's cellular number.

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banker 3 years, 10 months ago

Sigh .... I suppose that it is you PLP pedigree that makes you make up sh*t, firmly believe in it, and spew it back as gospel. Can't any PLP sympathiser handle the literal truth without any shading at all? The truth for the PLP is like kryptonite for Superman, or sunlight for vampires -- they shrivel up and die in its presence. Even I have Minnis' cell number.

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TheMadHatter 3 years, 10 months ago

Maybe he can start by curtailing the freedom to have more than two (2) children?

That would help a WHOLE LOT.

Of course, the church won't allow that. They building new pews to fill every month. Any of them fellas got church construction/expansion contract - they ain't ga starve.

TheMadHatter

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TruePeople 3 years, 10 months ago

try stimulate employment and social outreach......... how is this never considered? insdead they want to bad up poor people more. Treat them like criminals... and they'll act the part

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