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Editorial: Crime Continues - Where Does The Blame Lie?

WE ARE 36 days into the new year and already 19 Bahamians are dead and several others are in hospital fighting for their lives.

Over the weekend - Friday and Saturday – two men were killed in separate incidents within 24 hours of each other and five were in hospital.

A simple game of dominoes was being enjoyed by a group of young men in a restaurant and bar on St Vincent Road when a car pulled up, fired several shots and sped off. Soon the sirens of police cars and ambulances could be heard speeding to the scene. One man was dead.

Shortly after 10pm, a man was standing on Washington Street when a gunman walked up to him, shot him, then fled on foot. That victim is in hospital. Earlier that evening – around 7:30pm – two men were sitting in a car on Durham Street off Mount Royal Avenue when two men with handguns approached, shot them, then took to their heels and ran. The victims were taken to hospital, one died, the other is fighting for his life.

Early the next morning – this Saturday – two men were shot on Coconut Grove Avenue. They were taken to hospital where they are in stable condition. The problem with police statistics is that the public never gets the true crime picture — they only hear about those who die, never about the survivors who are maimed for life.

Within 24 hours this weekend, unsuspecting Bahamians were being used as target practice by the criminals. These were the very criminals that the PLP assured Bahamians that if elected in 2012, they would quickly rid The Bahamas. They promised the gullible that they had the secret formula to solve our growing crime problem.

We did not believe them, but many less informed Bahamians did. Anxious to be able to live without bars on their windows, they voted them in as the government. Now as the end of their five year term draws near – already with 19 Bahamians dead in the first 36 days of 2017 – they are back with their begging bowls filled with bogus promises, and excuses as to why they couldn’t keep their promises the first time. You must understand – according to them – they need more time to complete their mission.

It was Prime Minister Christie, who as opposition leader on August 15, 2011, said that crime was the result of bad governance - in other words the Ingraham government didn’t know what it was doing. As Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant remarked in 2015, the PLP will “forever curse the hour” that they erected those large murder posters showing that under the FNM murder was out of control in the Bahamas. No sooner in power – just a few days after the 2012 election— murders started to increase. By 2014 a frustrated prime minister, looking for a scapegoat for his party’s failure, decided to drop the ball on the police: “I said to the minister of state, I’m not prepared to have my own legacy, my own reputation, be tied to a total reliance on the Royal Bahamas Police Force and to the leadership of that force.”

And now we have PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts, trying to shift the blame onto former Assistant Commissioner Marvin Dames, who will represent the FNM, as the candidate for Mount Moriah in the 2017 election.

“It’s a shame that after years of service with the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” said Mr Roberts, “Marvin Dames is now trying to distance himself from some of the very anti-crime policies he designed and implemented. When the PLP entered government in 2012, we were faced with an underfunded police force, an underfunded education system, coupled with a court system burdened with a huge backlog of cases.

“This was what Dames and his FNM party left us to clean up,” yammered Mr Roberts. Excuses, excuses and more excuses. Probably if the Christie government had listened to the trained police officers the country would be better off today.

It would be interesting to know what State Minister for National Security Keith Bell brought to the government. After all he joined the police force in 1985, resigned in 2008, having been trained locally in police work. He then contined his studies to qualify as a lawyer.

Weighed in the balance, Marvin Dames has far superior qualifications in police work than has Mr Bell.

Mr Dames holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from Ohio State University, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Additionally he holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Police Management from the Institute of Legal Executives.

He has also participated in a number of courses including: Fellowship – Yale World Fellows, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; International Strategic Leadership programme (ISLP), Bramshill, United Kingdom; FBI Academy and Senior Command Course, Bramshill, United Kingdom.

Mr Dames also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from Ohio State University, Ohio, USA and a Post Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Additionally he holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Police Management from the Institute of Legal Executives.

Mr Dames has also participated in a number of courses including: Fellowship – Yale World Fellows, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; International Strategic Leadership programme (ISLP), Bramshill, United Kingdom; FBI Academy; Senior Command Course, Bramshill, United Kingdom.

“It’s a shame that after years of service with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Marvin Dames is now trying to distance himself from some of the very anti-crime policies he designed and implemented,” said Mr Roberts in a press statement yesterday. “When the PLP entered government in 2012, we were faced with an underfunded police force, an underfunded education system, coupled with a court system burdened with a huge backlog of cases.

“This was what Dames and his FNM party left us to clean up.”

And in 2015 National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage, also trying to slide away from his party’s election promises, had this to say: “And if the people believe we can just wave a magic wand and solve the problems that we face, they have got a sad awakening.”

They certainly have. But this time we hope they understand that the PLP never had a solution, and it is foolhardy to try to play the same sour notes to the Bahamian people to secure their vote.

We suspect that if the police had been allowed to do their job for which many are well trained, this country would not be in the sorry state that it is in today.

Comments

Publius 3 weeks ago

I am beyond tired of this trite and ignorant back and forth. "It's the PLP's fault. No it's the FNM's fault". When is the dialog in this country ever going to advance and grow the heck up?

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ThisIsOurs 3 weeks ago

Crime isn't the PLP's fault, what they're guilty of is ignoring it and playing political games with the sham of urban renewal while bodies pile up. "Crime" is the wrong war anyway, it's literacy, poverty and unemployment that they should be tackling. Solve those and crime goes down. Start with boys in grade 4.

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birdiestrachan 3 weeks ago

What does Mr: Dames do with all of his knowledge, and all of his degrees funded by the Taxpayers?. He went after the big bucks. he did not care about the Bahamas and the crimes. Or the murders. Now he does. Only a fool can believe this man.

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Greentea 3 weeks ago

So all things being equal- you want him - a fit and disciplined man to sit small behind Greenslade? Absolute rubbish. Just because he ceased being a police doesn't mean he don't care about crime. He chose to exit gracefully and respectfully in an organization he could no longer grow in. The fact that political gang members like you can't respect that is sad beyond words.

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Greentea 3 weeks ago

Having never committed a crime in my life - thus far, recent events have made me want to speak with, talk to some of these gang leaders and shottas. Why, when, how you come so? I have known youngsters from two parent households, hardworking, church going folk turn to a life of crime as much as those from single parent households. So that is no ready made reason for the actions of these young men. So I really want to hear these fellas stories and I am sure I am not the only one. I need a real journalist, a documentary filmmaker, somebody to interview these dudes. Someone could get an oscar or a phd trying to figure this sheet out. This Shawn "Fire" Brown in particular - I must admit- fascinates me. If he is as bad as people say- that dude have a story and I actually think it would benefit us to hear it- even if the realness of it scares the sheett out of us.

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ThisIsOurs 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Most of them will have nothing inside whatever you want to call it, God, hope, principles, love, whatever. They will be spiritually empty. They will be mad at the world for not helping them. You are right a poor man with a rich spirit won't murder anyone. They need to be filled with things that are pure and honest from an early age. And then they need an honest achievable way out, education is always a good tool. They need to know about the possibilities open to them. They need help to understand their gifting. This needs to happen in primary school as early as possible and followed through to grade 12.

This is the role of a good parent. If they don't have good parents, the state needs to babysit, or, we can watch the murder count rise to 600, whichever is more achievable.

The men who currently sit in parliament are the worst things that could have ever happened to our country. Spiritually void, money hungry, sexually exploitive examples of "success". Walkabouts and patrols are great but in this fight they're a waste of time, too late.

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sheeprunner12 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Solution .................... firing squad execution for anyone convicted of causing the death of a human being by reason of using a gun .......... Why are we so afraid to fight fire with fire?????

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jus2cents 2 weeks, 6 days ago

The Blame?

Easy answer, it lies at the feet of the crappy, useless, absentee parents...Crime is their fault.

They will of course deny it and crime will continue.

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banker 2 weeks, 6 days ago

On the other hand, if you could make more money at a well-paying salaried job rather than grifting on the street with a gun, then you would have a whole population of young men toting brief cases instead of Glocks.

That's what you get when you have an economy that cannot absorb poorly educated, functionally illiterate, poorly socialised, highly marginalised young men.

The problem is unfixable with the present human capital.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 4 days ago

First we all put security screens on our windows, then security bars, then alarm systems in our homes, then additional lighting around our properties (notwithstanding the exorbitant cost of electricity), then replaced our home doors with much more secure ones, then built high walls around our properties, then put razor wire or broken chips of glass on our high walls, then moved into gated communities with much of the foregoing also, then stopped going out at night, then this and then that......now guess who the prisoners are....certainly not the hard core criminals roaming our streets.....WE ARE THE PRISONERS LIVING IN FEAR SPENDING MOST OF OUR TIME LOCKED UP IN OUR OWN HOMES! Many of us have had enough and now choose to bear arms so that we least have a fighting chance when that hard core rapist or murderer attacks us or one of our loved ones, And yes, you can sit in your well fortified home in solitary confinement in a state of fear and denial, but things are so bad in our country today that it is only a matter of time before you will be confronted by a low life gun carrying thug no matter where you are or where you live. The balance of probability is very much tilted against all of us thanks to the Crooked Christie-led corrupt PLP government.

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Reality_Check 2 weeks, 4 days ago

@Well_mudda_take_sic: At least you are one of the lucky ones who can afford the high cost of all the measures you apparently have taken in an effort to protect yourself and your family from the rapists and murderous thugs roaming around everywhere in our country. Just think how unlucky and fearful the rest of us are! I fully agree with you though that one may as well be dead if one is foolish enough not to be armed given the out-of-control crime ridden country we live in today.

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