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Minnis talks of ‘calm’ ahead of rollout of crime plan

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

A DAY after a man was found murdered at Boatswain Hill in the capital, marking the fifth killing since the Free National Movement  was elected to govern the country, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said “there is a sense of calmness” hovering over The Bahamas after his party’s crippling defeat of the Progressive Liberal Party.

However, he said he is sure National Security Minister Marvin Dames will be aggressive in rolling out the party’s crime plan.

On May 12, two days after the FNM’s victory and one day after Dr Minnis was sworn in as The

Bahamas’ fourth prime minister, a man was found shot dead in a car while the engine remained running, off Carmichael Road.

Following this, four more murders were recorded, which left three men and one woman - a mother, 23, of two young children - dead.

Despite the murders over the last 16 days, the prime minister offered no insight as to how his administration intended to tackle the issue.

Mr Dames has also failed, on several instances, to give specifics of the FNM’s crime plan since assuming office, although the party’s crime initiatives were detailed on the campaign trail and summarised in last week’s Speech from the Throne. 

Asked to reveal when Bahamians could expect to see his administration’s new crime strategy rolled out in light of the most recent murders, Dr Minnis said: “I think the minister of national security is doing all he can to bring the plan out as aggressively as he can.

“But I am sure that you can detect that there is a sense of calmness over our shores unlike yesterday. (There is a) sense of calmness from many respects, especially after the government has changed.”

Under the former PLP administration there were 627 murders, according to The Tribune’s records.

Escalating crime under the former Christie led government was a major point of criticism from the FNM in the lead up to the general election. The party repeatedly castigated the former government and its National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage for the crime situation. In one instance Dr Minis branded Dr Nottage “deaf” and “insensitive” concerning crime.

Two weeks ago, Mr Dames, a retired senior police officer and Mount Moriah MP, said plans to tackle crime from a societal viewpoint continues to be the mandate of the new administration.

At the time he said: “We know that we need to get Bahamians back to work if we want to reduce crime. That is the major concern for this administration. Poverty in our country has played a tremendous role in the advancement of criminality in our society.

“In order for us to discuss crime, we must start with our people and the economy. It is the only way. More importantly we need to respect our young people and get our young people to work.

“Over the years we have lost so many of our young people to crime and those in the position that I now find myself in have been unable to fix that.”

“That is a priority. The youth of this nation must be at the forefront in the resolution because they are primary in the issue. We need to aid our youth,” he also said.

The FNM, ahead of the general election, declared as one of its main principles that it believed it to be the right of every citizen to live and work in a safe and prosperous community.

The party further presented 20 ways it planned to decrease crime and improve the effectiveness of the police force.

The party said it planned to enforce a zero tolerance for crime; develop a modern, efficient crime fighting machine; establish, build and equip an independent forensic lab; work with community based partners; eliminate habitats where criminality flourishes; enact legislation to establish the National Intelligence Agency; enforce Marco’s Law and establish the sexual offences register; use state of the art technology; establish a national neighbourhood watch consultative council; establish a public sector anti-corruption agency; conduct a comprehensive review of police officers compensation and re-institute term limits for the commissioner of police, commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the commissioner of corrections.

Additionally, the party pledged to reorganise the police reserves; strengthen the RBDF satellite bases; implement aggressive measures to arrest the trafficking of narcotics and firearms; arrest gang violence through educational programmes; establish a Guns and Gangs Unit; undertake a comprehensive manpower audit of the police force and identify an external inspector for our law enforcement agencies whose responsibility will be to review the efficiency and effectiveness of our enforcement agencies.

Comments

birdiestrachan 5 years, 6 months ago

Calmness? more like gloom and doom . The new PM wants to "Pop peoples neck" is he going to do this himself or does he have some one in mind to carry out the task? and the VAT on electricity and water and medical when will he address that? And the Bains Town where he was born tax exemption? He will be biting his tongue very soon.

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jackflash 5 years, 6 months ago

I think that we should stop playing the recording "it's the People Time" outside Birdies window every night.

She is already traumatized that her beloved paymasters were defeated.

Perhaps we should give her a break?

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banker 5 years, 6 months ago

Where should we give her a break?

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realfreethinker 5 years, 6 months ago

banker,do you mean as in what part of her body we going to break? lololol

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BahamasForBahamians 5 years, 6 months ago

Hubert Minnis backtracks on every promise made to the electorate so far and the only thing some of you loyal tribune comment posters can talk about is birdie's political affiliation?

These guys have promised us the world and its not even been a month yet and they are back tracking. That is the topic at hand lets stay focused on it!

Political persuasions are not relevant after elections, a government has been elected and the priority should be given to governing this country!

Hubert was elected to govern on the premise that he would follow through with promises made on the campaign trail.

This is his golden opportunity to earn the trust of the Bahamian people.. or he will earn a rejection like the ones before him

Its as simple as that ladies!

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ashley14 5 years, 6 months ago

A Trump fan. lol I know your not. Let's build a wall straight down the middle of the island. Criminals on one side and families on the other. Tourists can still go to Paradise Island or wherever the cruise ships start taking them.

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ashley14 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually I have been looking for a old friend going on two years. I have talked to people that know him, but I don't think they ever told him. I don't know my way around Nassau well. I like to walk to where I need to go, but I get quite a lot of attention. I left my heart with one Bahamian man years ago. He's the only one I want. My mom and I walked everywhere on the islands, but I lost my mom twenty years ago. If I don't find him or he isn't receptive to me I'm going to retire in Freeport. It's quiet and beautiful. I can't work in the Bahamas anyway. It's close to the states, if I need to come back for business. Well I just shared my dream and I hope it comes true.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 6 months ago

No government can prevent every homicide/murder ......... but a government can ensure that JUSTICE is protected and enacted ......... That contributes to a sense of confidence (and calm) in the government to efficiently and effectively solve the social challenges (including murder cases) ............ This is what Minnis is suggesting that the public anticipates will soon ensue

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Truism 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for signing for the PM. I really couldn't figure out what he was trying to articulate.

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ashley14 5 years, 6 months ago

Just a outsider looking in. It seems to me that especially the Bahamian men have no hopes and dreams. Maybe that wasn't worded well. Employment is so limited and wages low, they work to get no where. The old saying All Work and No Play make Johnny a dull boy. There is also a lack of education. It's going to have to start young. The streets are winning the boys over before they have the maturity to know what they are getting into. Then they are either killed or killing or incarcerated before they are twenty. It's in epidemic proportion. Their parents are working night and day just to pay the bills. Some of these boys or maybe most even know hunger. Quick money looks great, compared to making beds and cooking. I don't understand the killings. Maybe that's anger.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 6 months ago

Our Bahamian young men have only sadly copied what your US young men have been doing for decades .......... that is the real shame (copycats)

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ashley14 5 years, 6 months ago

I need to keep what I think to myself. Sometimes I find someone was offended by it and I wasn't being critical of young Bahamian men, it was just my opinion of why so many have turned to crime. I love the Bahamian people young and old. I wish the best for the future of the islands and their economy and it's people. I hope this new establishment brings so much wanted growth to the area. That couldn't hurt.

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