0

Dames: There's No Quick Fix On Killings

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames rebuffed critics of the government’s actions on crime, telling reporters the Free National Movement came to office with crime at alarming levels and the problem could not be solved in three months.

However, he said, the government is determined to solve the problem and is constantly discussing ways to do so.

He spoke to reporters the same day Shadow Minister of National Security Glenys Hanna Martin and Senator Fred Mitchell called for more action from the FNM on crime.

His comments also came on the heels of a spate of shootings in the capital. Two men were killed and three others, including two women, are in hospital after three separate shootings on Monday. The deaths of the men pushed the country’s homicide count to 95 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.

“These shootings and homicides didn’t just start on May 10 and for anyone to even look at that and say the crime strategies are failing, we’ve been at this for three months, we came into office with high murder rates,” Mr Dames said.

“The question is, what do we do to begin to work with the community to bring numbers down? I can’t get involved in the politics of this situation, the elections are over we’re all Bahamians now.

“We must work to gather collectively to find solutions to these problems and I can assure you that as a government day-in and day-out we are looking at ways to work towards mitigating this problem and we’re determined to do so.”

He added: “I’m not concerned with people being critical, that’s ok. This is not a quick fix these problems have manifested in this country for decades, we can’t get in for three months and expect this problem to arrest itself.”

Mr Dames pointed to the recent formation of a Cabinet committee to take a holistic, multi-agency approach to crime challenges, and the establishment of the National Crime Prevention Council.

Mrs Hanna-Martin, Englerston MP, yesterday underscored the destabilising effect of violent crime in the country as she called on the government to urgently collaborate with national stakeholders.

She said the Official Opposition stood ready to collaborate with the government in this “national emergency.”

Taking aim at Mr Dames’ pre-election campaign advertisements, Mrs Hanna-Martin said she was reminded of the trite irony of his attractive political commercial. She questioned where was Mr Dames’ “smug guarantee” that Bahamians will feel safe in their homes under the Free National Movement administration.

She spoke of the three homicides that occurred last week, including the shooting death of an eight-month-old infant.

“Within the last four months alone we have had more than 40 murders. This horrifying rate of killing and bloodshed combined with what appears to be an alarming rise in armed robberies have escalated levels of fear and created a sickening unease in our community.”

She continued: “This rate of violence is unsustainable to the wellbeing of our country. It is eroding public safety and harming public confidence; it is threatening our social and economic stability as a nation.”

Meanwhile Mr Mitchell yesterday questioned the level of government resources deployed to his constituency. Two of Monday’s shooting victims were accosted in Fox Hill.

Mr Mitchell said he wrote to Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade requesting additional resources citing community fears of a “tit-for-tat” drug war.

“Last night residents of Fox Hill called me when the sound of eight gunshots rang out in the vicinity of Abner Street,” the former Fox Hill MP said.

“As they spoke to me, they were crouching in their home for the second time in as many days; the night before the same thing had occurred.”

“I wrote the commissioner of police complaining that the swimming pool with children in it had to close its access and send the children home because in the middle of a Sunday afternoon shots rang out in the same vicinity.”

He continued: “I pleaded for additional resources. I made a public statement in similar terms on August 31. I said that the community feared that an ongoing tit-for-tat drug war was going on and that additional resources needed to be placed in the area to deal with it. I copied the national security minister. To this day and to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, nothing has been done.”

Mr Mitchell said: “. . . How much more is this community going to be asked to take of this?

“What resources of the government can be called upon and supplied in their aid and comfort or is it because it’s Fox Hill that the government refuses to act?”

In her statement yesterday, Mrs Hanna Martin also said: “It must be clear to all that this worrying dilemma of violence in our country is not the subject of some prideful political stance. It is both destructive and complex at the same time; it impinges on multiple factors, including the apparent ease of availability of guns, the severe economic pressures bearing down on many people, the substandard physical conditions people are forced to live in and the deprivation suffered by many of our children.

“This epidemic of violence requires the government to go to another level; they must on an emergency basis collaborate with all relevant stakeholders in our country to develop a comprehensive plan that will yield results, both in the immediate short term and in the long term,” she said.

Comments

John 3 years ago

The cold hard fact is that the country has suffered over a decade of increasing crime and large numbers of murders, several years of double digit murders. And the recent spate of murders put the country on the road for having another record setting year for killings. This is the FNM's second time around being the government in a crime ridden Bahamas and a murder capital so there is no reason the gloves should not come off. And the message has not changed to you and your government, Mr Dames: You cannot continue to attempt to solve the murder problem by waiting for shots to be fired and another body is sprawled on the ground or in some vehicle or some building. St the cabinet level you must set a task force on crime. You moist identify all the inputs that contribute to crime and especially murders ; Conflict resolution, drugs, unemployment, rapid urban sprawl, an extremely mobile population, gang activity family and community break down and dysfunction, among other things. You must put measures in place to reduce the negative of each of these factors on crime. Eventually you will identify those elements that have the most significant impact on crime and especially murder and take corrective measures accordingly. Identifying our most at risk males for example and taking measures to ensure they are properly socialized , especially the ones who are not working or go on to college after high school. Then making more economic opportunities available for them. Then educating single mothers about the results of blocking fathers out of the lives of their sons. Statistics will bear out the fact that the majority of young men involved in crime come from single pareohomed where the father is absent and has little or no interaction with their sons. Much of this crime is rebellion and reaction to young men feeling rejected and abandoned by their fathers and by society as a whole. Then on the justice and punishment side:

1

Reality_Check 3 years ago

And now we have a wave of crime spawned by the hoards of cash being sucked out of the pockets of Bahamian families by the plague of gaming web shops run by the racketeering numbers' bosses like Sebas Bastian and Craig Flowers who are nothing but corrupt thugs. Children and the elderly of lower income families are going without food, clothing and medicines they might otherwise have if it were not for the bread winners of these families being encouraged to become compulsive gamblers. This is now an insidious tragedy of epic proportions when combined with all of the money being sucked out of economy by illegal immigrants to support their families in their home countries. Sadly it seems Minnis and the FNM party are beholden to the numbers' bosses which makes them no better than Christie and the PLP.

0

ThisIsOurs 3 years ago

Does he know that he's the point person for hurricane preparedness? ....And all other national security risks?

0

Reality_Check 3 years ago

Why should he? Even Minnis doesn't know this!

0

TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! Did not the red shirts whilst in opposition not know there would be 'no quick fix on murders?' If so, why did Marvin and his campaigning colleagues outright promise a quick crime fix during the 2017 General Election?
Minister Marvin is dead on correct that 118 days since being placed in charge of arresting the 'alarming murderers'- is not enough time to solve the problem but how is it that you don't even have a plan in place to arrest murderers after 118 days in office?
69.75% the people who voted on May 10, 2017, want this crown minister to do the honourable and resign as minister - who has for 118 days - failed to even develop a plan to arrest the murderers to begin to protect the peoples safety and security.
Minister, how many thousands of dollars per day are taxpayers paying for policeman's chauffeurs you around and guard your physical from the criminal thugs? Who is protecting the ordinary people from the criminal thugs?
Minister, are you personally packing a loaded Gun?

0

BahamasForBahamians 3 years ago

This response from Marvin is a cop out and his resignation should follow.

His campaign videos where he stated his police background would assist in in curbing crime should be replayed to remind him the promises he made.

So be it though. Enjoy the remainder of the 4.5 years in government Marvin.

0

John 3 years ago

@ Reality Check:? And so why do you not ever mention the Hundreds of Millions being sucked out by all the foreign banks in this country? Some who have been doing it even before Sebas was born. They have many many Bahamians leveraged up to their eyebrows and the exorbitant fees they are charging is taking a huge chunk out of a working mans paycheck. And should they not mention their attitude of after over a hundred years of making profits, huge profits in the Bahamas, they are closing shop and withdrawing of cutting back on their services as they encounter losses. If the correlation between Sebas and crime had any relevance or to the degree you are hopping on then explain why there is also increases in crime (and corruption) amongst the non gaming population. Gambling is a vice and its best that it be licensed and regulated as are the Casinos on Paradise Island and Cable Beach rather than ran as an underground operation. Close to 5,000 persons are legally employed in the web shops and, the web shops seem here to stay.

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years ago

@John: You make it all too easy for @Reality-Check to draw out from you that your bread is obviously buttered by the racketeering thugs who run the corrupt gaming web shops.

0

TalRussell 3 years ago

Comrades! Does Minister Marvin still have the confidence the prime minister and his red shirts crown cabinet colleagues?
PM Minister Minnis will soon have go live on-air from the prime minister's office to order an evacuation from growing number neighborhoods that have and are becoming too crime infested dangerous to live-in.
Comrades,social activities, entertainment, business and nightlife commerce throughout the nation's capital of Nassau Town -has all but come to a complete shutdown - once the sun starts disappearing under the cover darkness of nighttime. Good Sweet Jesus, even some churches no longer hold nighttime worship and social events after darkness.
Armed thugs have stolen the monies from collection plates and out the pockets congregations - all while church services were in progress!

0

John 3 years ago

Tal you need to get a life. You not earning your pay telling outrageous lies!

0

birdiestrachan 3 years ago

That is not what "No Games Dames" told the "its the peoples time " voters he told them he had the answer to crime. Now if he can just get over Mr: Greenslade's appointment as commissioner Of Police instead of him it just may help him.

0

sheeprunner12 3 years ago

Of course there is a quick fix ........... Wanted Dead or Alive ....... and the Noose

0

sealice 3 years ago

I betcha Irma gonna fix some shite real quick tonite and tomorrow.......

0

Sign in to comment