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Govt To Make Legal Moves To Make Justice More Efficient

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames said on Tuesday the Minnis administration will be "moving a series of bills through Parliament very shortly" in an effort to "improve the efficiency of justice in the country".

In an interview with reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting, Mr Dames said in the short term, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) will "increase visibility in hot spots and continue to target prolific offenders".

His comments came days after the country recorded its 78th homicide for the year, according to The Tribune's records. There were also five recorded homicides last week.

Last Wednesday, after a man on bail for murder was shot and killed near his home, officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash urged persons out on bail for serious crimes "to stay home" or risk the chance of being killed.

Yesterday, Mr Dames said the problem is much bigger than telling persons to stay inside.

"A person has the right to bail, that is something we will continue to deal and live with but there are things we have to do. We have to improve the efficiency of justice and maybe that will mitigate against persons going out on bail," he said.

"There are things that we have to do, things we proposed as a government. Hopefully, these things will bring out the changes we need but that is not in the short term because it requires the enactment of new legislation and bills being moved through Parliament and so very shortly we will be moving these bills but until that comes there are things we must do in the short term."

Mr Dames also said the RBPF is seeing improvements in some areas of crime and he said the focus now is "getting the guns off the streets."

"They (police officers) are seeing improvements in certain areas. The focus is now more on how do we take the large number of weapons that have been allowed to accumulate on our streets and in the hands of primarily young people," Mr Dames said.

"So we need a greater intelligence capacity. So all efforts are focused on multi-agency approaches and we are working on these right now. In the short term we are increasing visibility and targeting prolific offenders as well as new patrolling plan, these have been consistent with what we have been requesting as a government."

On Monday, Mr Dames told The Tribune the Minnis administration will push for the death penalty to be enforced in an effort to reduce the violent crime in the country.

He said the Free National Movement will use everything on the law books, including capital punishment, to make The Bahamas safe for "law-abiding citizens".

However, he said a homicide rate of zero is "wishful thinking" no matter how many "measures the government puts in place".

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