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Triple Murder Triggers New Crackdown

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

IN the face of rising homicides, National Security Minister Marvin Dames over the weekend presented a number of crime fighting initiatives, highlighting plans to clamp down on persons out on bail, firearm traffickers, drug houses and enhancing senior command at the divisional level of the force on a 24-hour basis.

0edia at a press conference Saturday evening at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, Mr Dames said effective immediately, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) will “double down” on its efforts to combat violent crimes across the country.

Reflecting on the country’s latest murders, Mr Dames revealed police will be taking a more aggressive approach to handling drug peddling and shutting down drugs throughout the country, which he referred to as “the source of many of the crime problems that exist.”

The Mount Moriah MP also indicated that police will be increasing intelligence and operational efforts to identify and disrupt gang activities. More specifically, he said from an intelligence perspective there will be an increased focus on firearm traffickers with a view to bringing them to justice.

Mr Dames said: “The police have informed me that they have conducted a review of persons on bail who are not in compliance with their bail conditions. Further, they have discovered that more than 50 persons were not in compliance and they have already arrested a number of those persons and subsequently their bail was revoked.

“At present, there are 268 persons currently being monitored for various offences. Out of the 268 serious offences committed there are 70 for homicides, 18 for attempted murders, 102 for armed robberies and 59 for firearm offences.”

He continued: “I will like to send a warning out to all those persons who continue to live a life of crime – moving forward we intend to make your life very uncomfortable. We will use every resource at our disposal to ensure that you are made to account for your wrongdoings. This is a promise.”

Mr Dames added police intelligence has also revealed that a large percentage of recent homicides have occurred in what law enforcement refers to as “hot spots,” specifying the areas of Pinewood, Kemp Road, Bain Town, Yellow Elder, Fox Hill and Carmichael Road.

Flanked by several senior officers on hand for Saturday’s briefing, Mr Dames gave reporters a detailed look at crime figures, presented on an interactive map that highlighted the exact location of recent homicides.

Pointing to areas of concern, Mr Dames said police will increase vehicle and foot patrols and will be using all the technology available to them, including increased monitoring of CCTV and all of their resources to curtail these violent crimes.

Mr Dames said the efforts of police have already yielded some results, but admitted that more must be done, primarily he said, to improve technology and build capacity.

He later insisted that while efforts in tackling crime are static in many ways, strategies must also continue to be “fluid,” as a means of addressing crime in all of its variations.

To that end, he said the government will immediately begin with the establishment of the National Crime Prevention and Neighbourhood Watch Council to grow community involvement in the fight against crime.

The initiative is expected to be commanded by Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean.

Mr Dames said the council will look to set up crime watch groups in every community and attempt to establish commonality and examine community prevention measures.

Additionally, Mr Dames said the council will collaborate with multi-government agencies and non-governmental agencies.

Moreover, the national security minister revealed the government will review the establishment of the RBPF to determine the requisite number of officers at any division.

Mr Dames said the government will also move to decentralise the Central Detective Unit (CDU), a move he suggested would place detectives at stations to readily respond to serious matters on a timely basis.

This was a strategy reportedly shelved by the Christie administration.

Mr Dames said the government intends to produce, very shortly, its legislative agenda which will have a number of crime prevention bills, including legislation to establish a National Anti-Corruption Agency and an overhauled National Intelligence Agency, among others.

Of the initiatives presented Saturday, Mr Dames said he doesn’t expect an increase in the base shifts of officers or increase in work load.

This comes just days after the government was forced to back off plans to pay out the second instalment of overtime wages owed to officers this month.

Mr Dames said he is sure the senior command of the RBPF will be able to “make adjustments” to allow for these new initiatives to be effectively carried out.

He said despite limited resources, he is confident that police will be able to “get the job done” and, effectively, “bring an end” to many of the criminal elements plaguing the country.

Saturday’s conclave came on the heels of the country’s three latest homicides, all of which occurred over a 24-hour period, in or around areas highlighted by police.

Investigations into all three matters are continuing.

Comments

baldbeardedbahamian 2 years, 10 months ago

The police commissioner promises us that the police will double down on efforts to reduce crime. Yawn, Haven't we heard this many times before? And what does it mean anyway? Were their previous efforts only half-hearted? Yawn again.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm.......no mention of Police Commissioner Greenslade. Hopefully he's very near to retirement age.

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Reality_Check 2 years, 10 months ago

Rumours are rife throughout the legal community that Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt may be vulnerable to considerable 'outside pressures' of one kind or another in the Frank Smith trial scheduled for late November. Also, a concerted effort is apparently underway to put as much pressure as possible on the limited resources of the prosecutor's office between now and the Smith trial and also during the trial. Hopefully our Attorney General Carl Bethel has his ears to the ground and eyes wide open.

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UserOne 2 years, 10 months ago

Any information like this should be reported to the anti-corruption unit. Remember it is up to everyone to rid the country of corruption now that we have a government that wants to do that. They cannot do it without the information though.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 10 months ago

I've heard the same rumours, but information is one thing and evidence quite another. There isn't a lawyer in the Bahamas who would ever admit to the rumours circulating on this matter (and even discussed on the radio talk shows) and, of course, without evidence, there's really nothing to report to the anti-corruption unit.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 10 months ago

Yea right. Old stone face will fix it. If he knows the answers why is he taking so long? After three murders?

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SP 2 years, 10 months ago

If the cops implemented sustained roadblocks in and around "hot spots" these thugs couldn't run around armed to the teeth killing people.

Why the police cannot get this through their skulls is a mystery.

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Reality_Check 2 years, 10 months ago

Minnis and his current cabinet seem incapable of planning and managing a good piss-up in a brewery. The many burning embers and cinders throughout the social and economic fabric of our society are going to soon start flaring-up as major fires all over the place, and I'm not just talking about the public dump!

Many now doubt either Gibson, Dorsett or Smith will be found guilty and serve any time in prison. Apparently Sir Snake, in a fit of rage when he learned charges had been pressed against Frank Smith, said: "For every one day my son-in-law is made to spend in prison, I will personally see to it that Minnis spends 10 days in prison under the next PLP government!"

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 10 months ago

Regarding the last sentence of your second paragraph: Did you hear this from Tiger's son who apparently is quite friendly with Sir Snake's son? Seems Tiger's son has had much to say around town about Frank Smith's up coming trial, scheduled for late November and early December. Also wouldn't surprise me if Sir Snake's own son has been running his mouth about this matter......after all, many will tell you he never was the brightest crayon in the box!

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 10 months ago

How often do they change strategy? Didn't they announce a strategy just a few weeks ago with a picture of a big bus they were going to park across from criminal hotspots? Marvin Dames needs to go spearhead some legislation and let the commissioner "commission"

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John 2 years, 10 months ago

Unless and until the police and the government and the minister of national security get in their theads that the police alone will not stop the killings in this country and until you get more help on board and society to come together and combat the carnage, the murders will continue. First off, New Providence is not like Chicago or some other crime and violence ridden cities where you hear gunshots going off all hours of the day and all through the night. Usually when gunshots are heard a dead body discovered or someone ends up at the hospital nursing gunshot wounds. Secondly, despite the minister of national security,saying there are crime hot spots around the island, there is no where a normal citizen cannot go and feel he will be attacked or randomly shot at. stray bullet maybe but the murders seem to be directed at certain persons, young men specifically. And also despite the use of the term "prolific offenders", the age bracket of the persons involved in killing both as perpetrators and victims is not increasing. This says that just as many young men that are being killed or sent to jail are being replaced by new and young offenders and victims. Finally the low detection rate and the conviction rate is so low in the country it leaves such a wide, grey area. An area unknown and suspicious. Who are really behind the killings. This becomes especially more suspect when almost half the persons accused and charged with murder are gunned down and killed before they go to trial. Murdered with the precision of a trained assassin. Suspicious.

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sealice 2 years, 10 months ago

if they started at the stop lights and arrested all the arsholes that run the lights they would probably wind up arresting most of them and kill (2) birds literally with (1) stone

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John 2 years, 10 months ago

@ Sealice...why is there always the desire to tie traffic violations with serious crime? murder especially? They are suppose to have a camera system that was (partially) installed many years ago to detect persons who ran the red light by recording their license plate like is done in the US, the UK and other parts of the world. But the lights seem to be so diffucult to maintain. They seem to spend more time repairing and replacing damaged lights than anything else

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