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Greenslade: Bahamas Is Not In Crisis

Former Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade.

Former Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE the country recording 13 homicides in 13 days, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said the Bahamas is not in a state of “crisis” and the average Bahamian can continue to “go about their day as normal day” without the fear of being attacked.

At a press conference at police headquarters on Monday after a weekend of “carnage”, Commissioner Greenslade said the only solution to the country’s crime problem is to “keep prolific offenders behind bars”. He said the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) is not considering implementing a curfew or “locking down certain neighbourhoods” and the suggestion to do so is “emotional and makes no sense”.

His comments came hours after the country recorded its 27th homicide for the year. Seven people have been killed since Friday.

On Monday afternoon, police also reported that a man was stabbed outside an establishment on Nassau Street while two men were shot while in the area of Ross Corner. These victims were said to be in stable condition in hospital.

Commissioner Greenslade said it is simply not enough for people to “point the finger at the police in times of crisis” yet refuse to “manage their homes” or assist the police in catching wanted persons.

“It is a falsehood to tell the Bahamian public and the world at large that the Bahamas is in crisis, that is nonsense,” he said. “Every well meaning citizen in this country is well aware that these young people that are unfortunately dying and the young people that are the perpetrators, these are people that have fallen though the cracks of our society and they did not remain in school. The ones who did, when they got out of school, chose to associate with the wrong type of company and this is ‘tit for tat, you touch my boy I touch your boy’ type of thing.”

He added: “I do not want the public to form the impression you can’t drive your car and go to work, or you can’t drive your car to go to church, or you can’t drive your car and go to the grocery store. We have a problem, let’s not kid ourselves and that problem is prolific offenders that are in and out of the system who are not prepared to not live a life of crime....

“This country is not at a stage where the average decent citizen has to be concerned about being attacked,” Commissioner Greenslade added. “Do we have cases were someone is robbed and where an innocent person dies, yes. But I am telling you year on year, those who are prepared to look at the facts can tell you that no one is interested in harming persons who go about their normal daily activity.

“Bahamians can go about their daily lives as normal, I don’t perceive that any Bahamian citizen who is going about their business on a daily basis is going to have any issues. It is a very bad development in this country but this is not something that happened overnight.”

He also said there are far too many “healthy bodied prolific offenders in our country who have no hesitation in causing harm to other people” and until these people are “put away for good” the crime situation will never improve. When asked if the RBPF is considering implementing a curfew in high crime areas, Commissioner Greenslade said “absolutely not”.

“The only solution (to crime) is when these people are arrested and charged, that we allow due process and natural justice and we put them before the courts. I believe firmly as the commissioner that they should remain incarcerated based upon the egregious crimes they have committed,” Commissioner Greenslade said.

“We have to ensure that people that walk around with assault weapons and other variations of weapons, that have raped people, that have attempted to rape people, that have killed people that have attempted to murder people they should remain, I will make no apology, they should remain incarcerated and have their day in court. If we continue he way we are going we will continue to chase our tails.

“People are getting emotional and saying things that sound good to say - a curfew is not a good idea. I am going to say we should be careful...You can not ask the commissioner, in a democracy, with any intelligence to go into a community and just hit people over the head. It doesn’t work like that, it makes absolutely no sense. I am telling you again, please listen to me. We know who the man is that shot the person, we have arrested him and taken him to court. Why are you continuing to ask me the same question? Why am I having to arrest these men again?

“We are kidding ourselves. Yes, some drastic things should happen but the question should not be how drastic is the approach by the police. How much more drastic would you wish us to be? We don’t sleep at night, our families hardly see us, everything we do we show you.”

Commissioner Greenslade also said police are still looking for several persons in connection with this weekend’s homicides. Anyone with information on any of these murders is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.

Comments

John 2 years, 7 months ago

This is so very sad. It was so painful to listen to the commissioner that many wished he had remained silent. How can the commissioner say after 13 murders in 13 days that the country is not in crisis and persons can go about their normal life. How can he insuly Bahamians and tell them that some of them can't take care of their own homes but they trying to tell him how to do his job. Does not Greenslade realize that the 13 persons killed this month are Bahamian children as are many of the over 1,000 victims that were killed under his watch as commissioner? Twenty seven for the year. More murders under his watch than any other commissioner in the Bahamas. More murders than what happened under all the other police commissioners in the past 100 years in the Bahamas. We can no longer buy the case of "a few prolific offenders killing up each other." No not after 10 or more years. And to hear Greenslade almost justify some homicides by saying something to the effect that many of the persons who are killed are not as innocent as many may want to believe, and they have done something to cause them to be murdered. Careless words coming from a commissioner whose job it is to protect and uphold the law.. Almost sanctioning vigilante justice. . And While the PM admits the murders are out of control, no apparently effective plan was put forward to stop the mayhem. Maybe someone needs to say that if the killings doesn't stop the government will have to consider hanging or capital punishment.

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DDK 2 years, 7 months ago

Just curious here, HOW many years does a person maintain the post of top policeman? Is there a cap?

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viewersmatters 2 years, 7 months ago

Total disgrace and shame, this is just a poor excuse of indirectly saying they don't have a solution to crime and cannot maintain the crime or protect the lives of the people of the Bahamas. Go about our daily licea! Wasn't a Sergeant recently a victim of a crime if he had not had his license firearm on him who knows how that story would had turned out, didn't a couple of murder happen due to armed men firing rapidly into crowds aren't every day people are being robbed and attacked by criminals. Didn't the recent murder happen because the thugs tried to stole a young man vehicle from him and shot and killed the young man. No wonder why a grip can't be held on crime because our appointed members and officers are taking crime serious, they continue to blame retaliation and gang war and not looking at the fact that person involved are still murders and have in processing dangerous firearms that's dismantling the streets, homes and neighborhoods.

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Publius 2 years, 7 months ago

The entire country, no. New Providence in this regard, surely.

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banker 2 years, 7 months ago

So Prime Minister Crisco Butt says that it is like the Wild West out there, and Commish GreenSlime says that we are not in crisis. I wish that lying was painful for those who utter lies. Unfortunately, truth is the first victim in a failed state.

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

I think the commissioner just rubbed salt in the wounds of many Bahamian families who have had loved ones murdered by saying they had to do something to cause their own death. When they trying to come to grips with the loss. Then you have reformed gang members on the radio station saying things like "it could be over a girl, or just looking at someone the wrong way, or talking to someone bad on a job or even firing someone. That's how serious it is.

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TalRussell 2 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Commish, I know you have tough job - so I wish make a fresh suggestion cause the more you arm your policemans - the heavier the artillery pieces the criminal thugs will pack. So, here's my crime prevention recommendation. When your policeman's come into contact with those on the Commish's short list for most likely to commit serious crimes and you catch them doing small offenses and infractions - even traffic violations and arguing with others - your policemans will make them strip down to their birthday suits, and tow their vehicles away for impounding - means you set them free go on their ways. It's called the "embarrassment of having to publicly show ya thing law".
Commish, you cannot out prosecute, out policemans vehicles, out judge, over jail, or out shoot these criminal thugs. But you just might "out penis" them?

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banker 2 years, 7 months ago

He can "out penis" them. He is twice the dick of anyone out there.

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TigerB 2 years, 7 months ago

The COP is already used to those numbers, 119, 146, 111, 123,... form he took over it was those kinds of numbers so he will never see it as a crisis. It is unfortunate... seems they have no plan to take care of this. Ill bet he would approve the private citizens to carry arms! I saw on TV last night 100 police officers walking about AFTER the man done get shot.. why can't they find police officers to be about the community before the peole get shot? My wife always laugh at that. The technique is worthless

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

The country can expect another spike in crime as Donald Trump is having immigration and inland security deport immigrants with criminal records. Some persons who have been living in the US for over 20 years are having their residency status revoked and getting deported for crimes they committed. And their families have a choice to stay in the US or go with them.

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Greentea 2 years, 7 months ago

apparently this has been a problem in recent years. it already happens and will only increase under this admin.

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DDK 2 years, 7 months ago

SUCH BIG DENIAL! SUCH A SHAME! SICK!

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justthefactsplease 2 years, 7 months ago

30 murders per 100,000 residents gets you classified as a war zone...we have been at or around that ratio for many years yet he does not see this as a crisis. Is he for real?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

This whole police hierarchy needs to go home ......... except maybe the DCOP from Grand Bahama ......... but the other senior cops seem politically paralyzed and all they can say is "we lock the bad guys up, and the courts let them back on the streets" ......... so what is being done to present airtight cases so that the courts CANNOT let the crooks out on bail or that the lawyers can have serious cases so easily thrown out of court????

I maintain that TOO MANY police officers are in cahoots with the crooks ...... why do we need 2000 cops in little Nassau?????????............... and the crooks are still running wild???????

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Sickened 2 years, 7 months ago

I heard the police have their hands tied. If an officer wants to arrest a criminal the MP for the criminal's area makes a call and either the criminal is let go or the officer is transferred to Inagua (or does foot patrol in gang land).

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

That is a strong possibility as well ......... with the likes of Brave and Fitzie who bank roll the gangsters to work the streets for them

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 7 months ago

Our incompetent Commish is right about one thing......our Court system and Fox Hill Prison both have revolving doors! And in this country there is no equal justice for all.....just look at Leslie Pindling, Matthew Mitchell, John Boswick Junior and others like them who are walking around town free as Jay birds while others who have committed much lesser offenses are rotting in prison because they don't have two pennies to their name or come from politically well connected families. Truly sad!

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

Have you ever heard of the prime minister, the deputy pm, the minister of national security and his junior minister , the commissioner of police and his assistants, the attorney general and maybe the superintendent of the prison all in a room to discuss crime and, more specifically, murder? They are not seeing eye to eye on this matter and while they may all be concerned about it and working around the clock for solutions the cold, hard fact is the current strategy is not working. What changed in October? When before it did the country was seeing a massive decline in murders. There was an entire month without a killing and now the country can go hardly a day without someone losing their life to the hands of another? The commissioner should have information and intelligence as to what caused this new wave of killing and should move swiftly to arrest it.

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happyfly 2 years, 7 months ago

Greenslade is not lying. The appalling state of the justice system is a well known fact on the streets. The police almost always find out who the perpetrators are and round them up. From that point the justice system generally fails to follow through on a punishment. The thugs do whatever they want knowing that if/when they get caught, there will be cheap bail, maybe a trial in two years time, most likely a mistrial, early release because of prison overcrowding......it is a joke. A dumb punk that is considering shooting someone is far more concerned about retaliation from his victims family than the Bahamian Justice System

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

So was there murder #14 in 14 days last night? Or was the report of a woman being stabbed to death in Eight Mile Rock false or not yet confirmed?

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trackstar 2 years, 7 months ago

Bahamians must first ask what are the root causes of crime evolving young men. How old are the mothers of these young men? Are there fathers figures in the homes and lives of these young men. Bahamians must fix the root causes first. As soon as the police locks one up another one is born under the same circumstances that created the first one.

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