Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
THE Business Technology and Forfeiture Tracing Units of the Royal Bahamas Police Force will be merged to address increased occurrences of business-related theft, fraud and cyber crime in the country, National Security Minister Marvin Dames has said.
Speaking during the CEO Network Conference on Friday, Mr Dames said the RBPF’s aim is to be proactive and focused in identifying individuals and organisations responsible for various kinds of criminal activity.
While touting the positive changes in crime figures – a 31.8 per cent drop in armed robberies, the 45.2 per cent decrease in murders and 13.5 per cent decline of stolen vehicles for the first quarter of the year – Mr Dames said more must be done to ensure the results are sustainable.
“While the signs remain positive,” he told those gathered at the Melia Nassau Beach Hotel, “I hasten to add that the recent successes are due in part to short-term strategies, but much more work remains to be done. We are, however, encouraged because the decreases and other successes are not occurring by happenstance, but by carefully thought-out and deliberate changes in the way our police force conducts its crime fighting strategies.
“New methodologies and approaches to law enforcement partnerships, intelligence, drug interdiction and gun control will be the key to making us safer today than we were yesterday.
“These units will continue to operate using proactive, focused, sustained and coordinated approaches so as to identify individuals and organisations responsible for the trafficking of firearms into our country and disrupting their methods of operations.
“In the very near future, we hope to merge our Business Technology and Forfeiture Tracing Sections in the Royal Bahamas Police Force so as to address the increased reporting of business crimes related to theft and fraud. In addition, the Forfeiture Tracing Sections Unit will poise itself to address the expected increases in credit card fraud, identity theft, ransomware, phishing attacks and data loss, all of which are expected to become more common in the future due to cyber activity.”
Realising a gap in certain areas, he said local law enforcement will not continue to allow a small group of misguided individuals to cause havoc.
“We have sounded the clarion call to all within hearing distance that we represent the good people of this nation. No longer will we stand by and allow a small group of misguided individuals to reap havoc.
“We will find those persons and hold them accountable for their actions. There will be no hiding place or no go to zones for those hell bent on living a life of crime. The issue of safety and security is robust and will fluctuate as new trends emerge to destabilise current efforts. As such, yes, we are safer today than we were yesterday, but the threats of tomorrow are different,” Mr Dames said.
In recent months, several people have been charged in court in connection with stealing tens of thousands of dollars from their respective employers.