FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis expressed concern about the number of murders in October compared to September, even though the country remains on a path to record the least number of murders for any year since at least 2010.
Nine people were murdered in October, compared to six in September, according to The Tribune’s records.
The country has averaged about eight murders per month this year, with the best month being July, which saw no murders.
Dr Minnis said: “It is a sad state of affairs in our country when we see a spike in murders in October following the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. We can all agree that the Bahamian people deserve safety and security – especially in the aftermath of a hurricane.
“However, it is this government’s failure to deliver on their commitment to the Bahamian people as they try to recover and rebuild their lives that has created within them a state of worrisomeness about their own safety and protection of property and possessions. We have had nine murders in the Bahamas in October bringing the current murder rate to 84.”
Dr Minnis, former minister of health under the previous Ingraham administration where crime become a major issue as it escalated throughout society, said Bahamians have not felt safe for years “because of the government’s failure to keep their promise to ensure safety on our streets.”
He added: “Since the passing of Hurricane Matthew we have witnessed rampant crime across the islands – multiple murders, shootings involving young children, looting of homes and schools, and the list goes on,” Dr Minnis said.
Police have downplayed rumours of looting due to the hurricane, saying the incidents of theft experienced in the aftermath of the storm was not the same thing.
“All of this is happening at a time when the Bahamian people have more than enough hardships to shoulder,” Dr Minnis added. “Particularly at this time, Bahamians should not have to worry about a crime wave this government has shown absolutely no capacity to fix.”
“It is time for this government to finally develop and implement a plan to fully protect our citizens. It starts with acknowledging the problem, not treating it like a campaign issue that they are afraid to address. The people deserve safety and security – they pay taxes and live up to their obligations as citizens. It is time for the government to finally bring forth a real plan to address the high crime rate in our country.”