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Dames: Crime Measures 'Raise More Questions'

Marvin Dames was announced as the FNM Candidate for Mount Moriah.

Marvin Dames was announced as the FNM Candidate for Mount Moriah.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Deputy Police Commissioner Marvin Dames said he is not impressed by National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage’s announcement of the anti-crime measures to be adopted by the government to combat the spike in murders, saying the strategies have raised more questions than answers.

In response to a spate of murders – eight since last Friday - Dr Nottage on Wednesday said with immediate effect “lockdowns” in certain areas, mobile police vans and an armed forces partnership among other things would be implemented.

He further admitted that people connected to “gangs, drugs and guns” are linked to the frequent killings.

However, Mr Dames, who has been ratified as a Free National Movement 2017 election candidate, said the initiatives have come at the last minute when the Progressive Liberal Party led government’s time in office is coming to an end.

“At the beginning of this administration, Prime Minister Perry Christie himself said crime will be the determining factor as to whether they are returned to office,” the former deputy commissioner said.

“Five years into this administration and at the very end at that, they are just revealing their strategy as to how they intend to deal with crime and to take it a step further, this strategy, which was articulated leaves more questions than answers.

“You say you are going to roll out a Royal Bahamas Defence Force partnership with the police. Well, how will that take place? You are talking about two organisations now working together on the streets. What would be the role of the RBDF? When you have situations like this it requires training to ensure that when they roll out the strategy you don’t have issues on the street. It’s so confusing. How will they work in unity?”

He went on: “They talk about the introduction of two vans. I was involved in the acquisition of those vans more than six years ago. These are the two vans they are speaking about and one of the reasons why those vans were purchased was for the exact same thing. To be utilised in areas where you are having crime at the frequency we are having today. So where have they been and how have they been utilised all this time?”

He also questioned why the government’s closed circuit television network was not being manned 24 hours a day, considering the hefty government investment into the initiative.

“They talk about this whole thing about the CCTV cameras,” Mr Dames said. “We’ve spent millions on those cameras and now we are learning from the minister in Parliament that they are not being monitored on a 24/7 basis. Then how were they being monitored? Who actually is carrying out the monitoring? Because if you are investing so much of the taxpayers money on a programme, at the end of the day we must see that the programme is actually being utilised.

“We talk about the ankle bracelets. Ankle bracelets are not used and utilised for hardened criminals. You could put a hardened criminal in an ankle bracelet and he can sit on his porch and he can wreak havoc sitting on his porch on his cell phone, calling armed robberies, shootings and anything else. “We are not utilising these equipment and resources that we are purchasing.”

On Wednesday Dr Nottage also said intelligence has suggested that there are connections between many violent incidents on the streets of New Providence and inmates at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services and recently released prisoners.

He announced nearly a dozen measures to combat crime. Among these were increased foot patrols in inner cities and crime hot spots; the activation and placement of specially designed mobile police vans to serve as manned police stations in communities where crime is a challenge for police; aggressive stop and search of suspicious persons and suspicious vehicles throughout all policing divisions; periodic road checks at various intersections; purposeful lock downs of communities and crime hot spots where large teams of law enforcement officers execute search warrants, arrest warrants and search for illegal drugs, firearms and stolen vehicles.

Several other medium-term strategies are also being implemented, Dr Nottage said.

Comments

ohdrap4 1 week, 3 days ago

Crime is getting worse. SHAKE THE POM POMS AND THE BUM BUMS.

The file pictures in these articles are hilarious sometimes.

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Itellya 1 week, 3 days ago

Suggestions from an outsider. While it will take much more than the police to bring crime to a minimum there's still some things the police might need to do. There probably will be a lot of backlashing.There may be a need to move away from what the traditional way or "the way we've always been doing things"

(a) Could the Police department do more with the manpower it has until its able to get the body's it needs?

Example- In other countries the Prime Minister or President is protected and chauffeured by the military. Rather than putting the Defence Force on the street to fight crime, assign them to chauffeur the PM and whom ever else and also have them guard his home and office and whom ever else is chauffeured and guarded by the police which will allow these police officers to return to the streets.

(b) I've seen police vehicles (small bus) have at times six officers riding. 6 persons = 3 patrol cars or 6 patrol cars if its done the way it is in the US......I watch TV so its just thought.

(c) Until the crime situation is brought to a minimum, could the police band which has 30-50 maybe more police officers not sure, go to regular duty? If a state funeral comes up pull them or give overtime pay?

(d) Make the fire department a civilian department. Win win situation there, as it provides more officers on the street and jobs for persons interested in being firemen but not in being a policeman.

(e) Not sure how many work in this area but Civilianize the police dispatch area with well vetted, intelligent and trained persons, probably leaving a police in charge of the area. That should put more police on the street and more jobs for civilians.

(f) Is there really a need for the 15 or more police stations around this island of 21x7? Is it putting a dent in crime? dismantle them all build one central police station/jailhouse because jail is different from prison right? Use half the amount of officers stretched across these stations to facilitate the Central station/jailhouse and the other half put them on the streets.

(g) Maybe time to revamp the training program at the police college if it hasn't already been done? The whole thought of policing has to be super updated. Officer out of training should be ready for and given his service weapon, paired with a seasoned policeman, and put in a patrol car instead of flooding downtown with police in ceremonial uniforms. Put traffic wardens instead to direct traffic and give tickets on Bay..Win win more civilian jobs.

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Itellya 1 week, 3 days ago

(h) is there a need for a whole " traffic divison"? or should that be every patrol vehicles business to investigates accident. Could still keep some cycle officers for special escorts and traffic surveillance and the part that deals with serious accidents. That should add more to the streets...I don't know but just saying.

(I) All for an air wing area but why not with a helicopter with the huge flood light instead of a plane to patrol and search from the air. It works in other countries. Dispatch the helicopter which should already have routine air patrols around the island, to every robbery and shooting incident

(j) revamp the K9 unit and use them more on patrols to search for those who criminals who "fled on foot". put more K9 Unit patrols vehicles each shift and they respond to every robbery and shooting incident.

(k) Seriously beef up CCTV and staff to really monitor it fulltime. Police cant be everywhere but where they fall short CCTV should pick up the slack. Put elevated sky watch or mobile patrol tower stations in hotspots manned by an officer or two.

(L) beef up the reserves. Sweeten the pot so to speak. Volunteerism in this area may not be working. Revamp it make it part-time with FULL medical coverage and pay more, properly account for the hours they work and train them properly, put them in a patrol car.

(M) Is there a computer generated study of hotspot statistics?

(N) Is there a unit that focusses on gangs to search find and shutdown?

(O) Police should be a well paying profession because of all they put on the line. Compensate them well for the job they do, give them the up-to-date equipment they need. Some of my cop friends say they have to hustle uniforms. Provide all of them with regular and up-to-date training, training, and more training.

Just some suggestions but then you hear the words, "we're not ready for that", "that's a US thing", "that will never happen", "this is the Bahamas",.....All it amounts to is a venting session. Im just a simple fellow who watches TV.

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realfreethinker 1 week, 2 days ago

Every three months this government rolls out a crime plan. Absolutely lost

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SP 1 week, 2 days ago

Start At The Top. Get Rid Of Corrupt Politicians, Permanent Secretaries & Civil Servants

Crime stems from the top down, not bottom up!

$100's of millions unaccounted for and the government doesn't blink and eye. Drug running, human smuggling and arms dealing cannot thrive without organised support from the powers that be.

Chasing warring "foot soldiers" is necessary but actually futile as the "big boys" will simply replace them with other scum graduates trained at the University Of Corrections.

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norman_t 1 week, 2 days ago

The Crime Problem - Perhaps we could try raising and educating our children to be law abiding, decent, and community loving Christian people. It would save us a lot of money and a lot of blaming others for our problems. The realities on the ground do not suggest that good parenting and good education are valued much here. Otherwise, we'd be seeing better results. Wouldn't we?

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 2 days ago

Dames is now singing for his supper. Dames who abandoned the Police Force for the mighty dollar now has all of the answers. him and, the former Deacon. who can trust these fellows.?

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Honestman 1 week, 2 days ago

You're right Birdiebrain 'cause we can trust Perry Christie can't we? He would never lie to the Bahamian people would he?

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Itellya 1 week, 2 days ago

As a career person it really makes me cringe when I hear people scold a person for moving on to accept an opportunity that could better a person and his/her family. We have got to stop this foolishness. At the same time while I wouldn't, I refuse to knock someone who decides to stay on one job all their life! Its their choice! So what if the man left the police force! He's not the first to have moved on though very knowledgeable of policing. Its obvious his leaving wasn't illegal.

Who of you in this day and age would turn down a job opportunity paying you probably 3-4 times your current salary? Who?????? Quit with that CRAP!!

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Itellya 1 week, 2 days ago

Also perhaps if persons in other government agencies would follow this example, maybe...just maybe other qualified persons could be able to move up the career ladder instead of stunting a persons growth!!

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