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Crime’S Down, Now Jobs Is My Priority

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday said crime and the fear of crime is down, telling reporters his administration has now turned its focus to the country’s economy.

“I’m still focusing on crime,” he told reporters outside the House of Assembly yesterday.

Dr Minnis, pictured, visited Parliament to view the body of former Speaker of the House Sir Arlington Butler.

“But my observation, as I move through the community, crime is down, the fear of crime is down, and now our great focus is the economy and the ease of doing business.”

He continued: “And that’s why I’m going to Cabinet now so that we can approve investments to create jobs for Bahamians - that’s my number one priority.

When asked if he focused on recent criticisms of his administration, Dr Minnis said: “I am focused on Bahamians’ lives, the quality of lives being improved, that’s my number one focus.”

The prime minister’s assessment follows similar statements from National Security Minister Marvin Dames last week amid a reprieve in shooting deaths for nearly a month.

The last reported homicide was on October 26, when a woman’s partially decomposed body was found in bushes in Abaco.

Police opened a murder investigation and a man has been arraigned in connection with her death.

According to The Tribune’s records, there have been 117 murders for the year. This marks a 43 percent increase in the number of homicides recorded by October 26, 2016 when there were 82 killings, according to our records.

Notwithstanding the lull in murders, a shooting in the parking lot of a primary school last week drew national attention.

A parent collecting his child, a fourth grader, from school was shot in the hand by assailants in the parking lot of St Francis Joseph Catholic Primary School on November 16.

Despite the incident, school officials said students, administrators and staff were in no immediate danger. The school was placed on lockdown shortly after the incident, but opened as normal the following day.

Parents canvassed by The Tribune the next day, said they regretted the shooting on school grounds, but most said the incident was not surprising given the “open season” state of the country.

Last week, Mr Dames said: “It all depends on where you are measuring from, but I can say certainly in the last few weeks a month or so that we’ve been seeing some very encouraging results.

“Have we arrived, we’re far from it, but it certainly begins to set the stage for 2018.”

Comments

proudloudandfnm 11 months ago

No man. Is he froggin serious?!? Crime is not down? It may be down this week, next week is a different story. How can a man who calls himself honest make such an outlandish claim? Especially since NOTHING has actually been done.

Stop taking credit for a cycle....

And the fear of crime is way up my freind. Perhaps you should ride the jitney some more....

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tell_it_like_it_is 11 months ago

If it is 117 this year vs 82 last year around this time, crime is certainly not down. I remember I believe it was July 2016 as well that no murders were recorded for that month.
I'm not saying this to knock the police because I do believe law enforcement seems to be improving their patrols.
However, I just want the police to remember that the Christmas season is just about upon us and that is the time notorious for the crime wave to start. But I DO want to commend the hard working police officers out there who do an excellent job. I believe the body cams are helping as well.

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Islandboy242242 11 months ago

Someone handing out free rose colored glasses to the crowd? I don't know about you but my fear of crime is still pretty high, always looking over your shoulder, thinking twice about going out at night etc etc. Crime might be down from the proverbial killing spree that seemed to be rampant a few weeks ago but the murder count is still up vs last year and it will take a while of consistent results for people to let their guard down a bit.............................................................. . I'm happy there has been a lull and always appreciative of the work of the RBPF, seems strange that we can just turn the murder light switch off for a few weeks but hope it stays quiet over the Holiday Season.

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TalRussell 11 months ago

Comrade PM, there's even a big if the reporting since October 26, 2017 is accurately being reported and not being reclassified before being offered to the media by government sources? Regardless, shootings and other forms attempts peoples lives continue and it's thanks to medical personal that victims are still alive - not to the red shirts minister security.
PM, since fear crime is down among citizens and residents - according to you and your crime minister - does that mean you and your cabinet colleagues will no longer need policeman's security details, escorts and protection?

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BahamasForBahamians 11 months ago

LOL...

Hubert is now throwing in the proverbial towel..

He's giving up.

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licks2 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Dream-on there PLP. . .even if that is the case. . .never again for yall. . .that criminal enterprise is dead forever!!

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TalRussell 11 months ago

Comrades! Let's give credit to whom's credit is due.
PM, for if any males owns bragging rites for the fallen number murders from this October 26, 2017 time period - shouldn't it be the criminal Gangs taking credit and not the PM and Minister Marvin?
I've always promoted we pay the criminals - not to commit crimes.
The public purse owes the thugs - bonuses cheques...... not to be used to increase the pay of the PM and his crime minister as MP's?
Amen!

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OMG 11 months ago

Please Mr Educated doctor " my plans ARE" not is .

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stillwaters 11 months ago

Just like the PLP, lying about crime levels. Jeez.....

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TalRussell 11 months ago

Comrades! Now, if we follow Minnis's, KP's, Brent's and Dionisio's concepts, we can pretty much get a clear picture of how foreigner our Bahamaland should end up looking like by the time the 2022 general election year rolls around.

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sheeprunner12 11 months ago

If an effort is made to expand the economy ........ provide DFI incentives in the Out Islands ...... open up the economy for SMEs and shares offerings ......... choke off the gun&drug trade ............build a new SuperMax cay prison for ALL serial criminals .................. then crime will continue to go down

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birdiestrachan 11 months ago

If there is anything at all that roc wit doc can take credit for it is that he is a masterful liar. Now they say when they pass these bills according to the Super Minister. The Bahamians will get the trickle down effect. What he means is the crumbs that will fall from the table of the elites. These folks will bring their maids and their gardeners and their nannies. and Mr> Small things will be so busy signing permits. and the Cabinet it is more like "Uncle Tom's cabin" -

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sheeprunner12 11 months ago

Birdie you are speaking for Fweddy & Bradley Roberts ........... STFU!!!!!!!!

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John 11 months ago

It never fails. As soon as the government unwires it jaws and start bragging about crime. More specific it’s reduction the murders start up again. Hopefully this an isolated incident and the ‘ceasefire ‘ will continue

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Greentea 11 months ago

This statement and outlook is so sad and dumb that I now believe Potcake might make a better prime minister. Someone please tell Minnis that the job of PM is not a one task at a time job. It requires the ability to multitask effectively. Frankly I am beginning to believe that not too many men- particularly Bahamian men- have this skill but since we are a patriarchal society - to our detriment- we will continue elevating mediocre men and their female sycophants leadership positions they are ill equip to handle. I had hope, but this PM and this administration for the most part seems mediocre. The best part-so far is that they don't seem to be thieves yet- but the debate on salaries indicate full capacity for tiefin'. I am deeply disappointed.

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ThisIsOurs 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Agreed. Dumb. Mediocre. Deeply disappointed. "Had" hope. The funny thing is he told us he wasn't taking on a portfolio so he could have oversight of everything

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John 11 months ago

he country was obviously enjoying its second longest 'ceasefire' in at least five years. Then the prime minister decided to un-wire his jaws and thump his chest about the wonderful job his government vis a vis the police force was doing about crime. And just like every this happened under the previous administration, there was another murder within 24 hours. And this begs to asks the question: "what is driving crime, murder especially in this country? Who is really behind them. No one can deny that the crime, murders especially are down. But what caused that? The police have been less visible in the past few weeks (not that this is a bad thing, especially if the desired results are being achieved), and there has also been less police interaction with the public or it was less publicized. But on the other hand there have been significant arrests for gun possession and other major crimes as well as several major drug busts. And with several prominent politicians and other high profile persons being charged with bribery, and corruption, among other things, the Minnis led government let it be known loud and clear that there's a new sheriff in town and, like Papa (his namesake0 papi don't take no mess.'

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John 11 months ago

In addition to this the new commissioner, Reginald Ferguson, let it be known that there would be a major shift in crime fighting and policing strategy. His intention was not only involve the public in his fight against crime, but to target gang members with the intention of dismantling gangs. The vanity of gang life: Killing your own people for what? Because they live in a different part of the island, or because they wear different colors or have different gang signs that you have..how stupid..how dumb. It is suspected that gangs are responsible for many of the killings in The Bahamas, new Providence especially and the commissioner's plea for the public to get involved and claim their communities back is already yielding results. Then the prime minister sent more shock waves when he undiplomatically announced that all illegal immigrants had until December 31 to become regularized or to leave the country. And despite the criticism and public outcry about this, especially from one Fred Smith, who challenged this edict, Minnis stood his ground. And so many who fit in this category, are busy trying to get their immigration papers in order or are preparing to leave the country by the deadline given.

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sheeprunner12 11 months ago

Wrong Ferguson here .......... Reggie retired some time ago

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John 11 months ago

And as you may know, one specific gang in the country is made up, almost exclusively, of persons who are Haitian or of Haitian decent. They are suspected of being responsible for many crimes in the country and have the tendency to go undercover when the police are looking for them. One was recently discovered on a Haitian sloop coming into the country.. And as if it was fate speaking out, a Haitian sloop ended up in the mouth of the canal at the defense force base. While it was suspected that some 250 persons may have been on board that vessel, and while persons in the area claim they heard persons running through the night and vehicles driving through the night, no one associated with the vessel was discovered. But immigration was able to capture and detain some 200 illegal persons to be deported to their home countries. So this sent another clear message to criminals, illegals and the public at large that laws are enforced in the country and crime will not pay. Now the country is waiting on the defense force to redeem itself from the black eye and embarrassment it received when the Haitian sloop creeped up almost in the bowels of the base....undetected.

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sheeprunner12 11 months ago

Every Bahamian millionnare in Nassau ..........should be mandated to invest at least $250,000 in either his/her home island or island of choice with the necessary incentives ........ here is a list of possible investments ........ boutique hotels, apartments, car rentals, specialty vegetable/fruit farms, coconuts, tree fruits, corn/legumes, poultry/piggeries, fish processing, meat processing,salt manufacturing, hardwares, wholesale suppliers, water & ice making, online courier/shipping services, charter airlines, laundries/dry cleaners, ground transportation, ferries/watersports, taxi/tour buses, nightlife facilities, theatres, gymnatoriums, private health clinics, road repair, fuel depots, specialty construction & machinists, wood processing, renewable energy, special education, ........ etc, etc, etc. There are tons of options for investment in the Out Islands ........ with proper regulation and planning ............ Where is that in the CEZ bill???????????

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John 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Sheeprunner you sound like a jackass again...HOW CAN A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT MANDATE ITS CITIZENS TO INVEST???? ."an official order or commission to do something. "a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners" synonyms: instruction, directive, direction, decree, command, order, injunction, edict, charge, commission, bidding, warrant, ruling, ordinance, law, statute, fiat;" How can government even expect their citizens to invest when 70-80% of Bahamian businesses have not seen a profit since 2008? In Fact many are bleeding through their eyes and ears and it is only the injection of owner's capital that is keeping the doors of these business open and, yes, saving jobs. On the face of it, your suggestion for Bahamians to invest is a good one, but the major incentive to invest is profit. And in the absence of profit there is no incentive. And the fact is even when businesses are not profitable, the tax regime is designed such that government still gets its taxes: business license, national insurance, property, customs duties, VAT, immigration fees, excess light bills tax, dumping fees. So the current businesses are virtually enslaved to collect government taxes and many, very many of the businesses are collecting government taxes at the owner's expense. Now the government is seeking to make an even more uneven playing field by allowing foreign business to come in and bypass laws and regulations that Bahamian business owners are mandated to abide by. A more common sense approach would be to require that every businesses coming into the country float at least 30% of their shares and make them available exclusively to Bahamians, in the first instance, and only to foreigners when the shares are not purchased by Bahamians or the Bahamian government within a given timeframe.

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sheeprunner12 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Well Jonnie Boy ........... suggest why Bahamians have $1Billion sitting in banks, rather than investing it???????? ......... watsayu????????

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IslandTransPlant 10 months, 3 weeks ago

sorry hit the wrong button, I agree that guy is blowing smoke he is a a-hole just like the donkey before him

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