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Police Aim To Reduce Murders To Less Than 90 Next Year

Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

WITH the country on pace to record fewer than 100 murders in a year for the first time in nearly a decade, National Security Minister Marvin Dames yesterday declared his goal for the year ahead: fewer than 90 murders.

He said this can be achieved if the Royal Bahamas Police Force hits its human resources targets, reaching a point where people will see that “almost every time you turn a corner, a police car is not far away.”

HIs statement came as the RBPF said no major matters were reported on Christmas Day. Police officers have swarmed the streets this holiday season.

There have been 90 murders so far this year; 2010, when 94 people were murdered, was the last year the country recorded fewer than 100 murders. The country last recorded fewer than 90 murders in 2009 when 87 people were killed.

When asked about the matter, Mr Dames said: “Ninety and under is the target for next year, absolutely. I want to see these numbers continue to decline. If our policies are working then we can expect to see further declines.

“We’re not celebrating,” he said. “Even the numbers for this year, while we have improved from a statistical standpoint, with the assistance of the public we may achieve lower records in a number of critical areas. We are not resting because we feel these numbers can and will continue to decline as we begin to follow the recommendations outlined in the manpower audit, one which is bringing the number of constables up to an acceptable level. We want to see almost every time you turn a corner a police car is not far away. We are well on the way to achieving that because the last 134 officers that would have passed (through the Police Training College) this month have already been assigned in a number of critical areas in mass numbers. We are working towards achieving what the manpower audit called for so very shortly you will begin to see the presence that the public has been longing for for maybe decades. This is the first true audit we conducted. We walked into a failed model and if we say model is broken, how do we fix it?”

The manpower audit, released in May, concluded the RBPF needs 791 additional constables to effectively fulfil its mandate. The audit determined the RBPF is too top-heavy. It lambasted recent promotion exercises.

Among the other initiatives Mr Dames credited for the murder rate decline is the expansion of neighbourhood watch councils.

“There are some things, like the National Neighbourhood Watch Council I am upbeat about, that are really exciting,” he said. “We have mobilised well into New Providence with over 70 councils and the numbers are growing. In Grand Bahama the numbers are in double digits.”

The incident of a man who was found shot dead outside an abandoned building in Stapledon Gardens on December 21 has not been classified as a murder, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash told The Nassau Guardian recently. It had previously been reported this killing pushed the murder count to 91 for the year. Police have suggested the deceased in this matter was the aggressor and may have been killed in self-defence.

Comments

bogart 2 years ago

Good plan. LOT OF CREDIT MUST BE GIVEN TO THE...PHONE OPERATORS......AMBULAMCES........EMMERGENCY ROOM..... CRITICAL CARE AMBULANCE WORKERS, .....DRIVERS...CRITICAL CARE DOCTORS, ......NURSES, ...BLOOD BANK.........STAFF,....PMH .....HOSPITALS... EQUIPMENT....DIRECTED .....TOWARDS THE ......LEADING CAUSE ......OF DEATH....... HOMICIDES......MEDICAL STAFF......MUST BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR REDUCING THE NUMBERS OF MURDERS .....IN DA BAHAMAS....!!!!!!!!!

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Yes, or no, if almost every time you turn a corner a police car is not far away - will that means something different you than comrade commish, yes, no? Will the 90 homicides projected by comrade commish for 2019 - includes murders and manslaughters, yes, no? Will It also include those targeted murder but either by ducking, or by luck, or by miracle medical science - survived the assassins attempt, yes, no?

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John 2 years ago

A murder count of under 50 is not impossible by next year, God’s willing. As the murder count and crime in general, decreases, the more resources and manpower are freed up to investigate and solve the crimes and murders that do occur and bring the offenders to swift justice. The police must also target specific types of murders that are happening,like gang authorized hits and the retaliation that comes with them as well as drug turfs wars. Put more effort into identifying gang bangers and getting them off the streets along with gum smugglers and sale of illegal weapons. On the prevention side, more resources to educate young men about gang activity and the usual outcome of joining gangs. More resources to provide wholesome activities for young people including church oriented and civic activities. And job training and job creation. Opportunities for young people, men especially, to be gainfully employed and not turn to crime as a source of income. And yes more training, education and policing of the police. Young people must be allowed to move freely from place to place, especially to and from work. Without being harassed, beaten or even falsely arrested by the police. The habit of beating suspects into submission or confessions or even a coma is old, antiquated barbaric and counterproductive. If police must injure verbally or physically, four or five innocent individuals together a crime solved then the police is doing more damage than good. Hurt people tend to hurt other people. And the commissioner must not be shy or reluctant to weed out shy or trigger happy officers from the force. No need to reduce the number of murders if the police is going to make up with their own involved shootings. And so every police involved shooting should be properly and actively investigated. And also be aware that murder is down in other countries like Jamaica a( 25%) and the US. More persons are dying from opioid overdose in the US than from murder. So much so that Donald Trump has called for the death penalty for persons trafficking or dirtributing them illegally. Fentanyl is the major culprit which is drug that comes from China. It is added to heroine to make it up to 50 times more potent and is also now being added to cocaine. Over 70,000 people died from drug overdose in the US last year.

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tell_it_like_it_is 2 years ago

What they need to realize is that this problem must be addressed holistically.
It's not just stopping would-be criminals.... it's reforming the justice system so they get the proper punishment for the crimes committed... stopping bail for murderers, etc...
Creating more programs for youth who feel disenfranchised... providing more drug addiction/ substance abuse programs...providing alternative educational solutions for the less academically inclined, more sex education programs in schools to help curb unwanted pregnancies...etc... and the list goes on and on.

The police force is just ONE cog in the engine of moving toward a safer and more productive society.

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TheMadHatter 2 years ago

Sex education? The churches will never allow it. Remember man was created by God, but sex was created by the Devil.

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SP 2 years ago

Pure, absolute, bullshyt! Marvin Dames needs to stop insulting our intelligence talking this nonsense as everyone already knows crime is directly linked to unemployment.

http://www.justscience.in/articles/li...">http://www.justscience.in/articles/li...

As, and if the economy improves crime will similarly decrease. There is NOTHING the PLP or FNM can do to reduce crime with the exception of decreasing unemployment!

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screwedbahamian 2 years ago

ONE MURDER IS TOO MANY. The RBPF and All law enforcement agencies should ALLWAYS FOCUS AND WORK EVERY MINUTE ON REDUCING CRIME INCLUDING MURDERS. THATS THE GOVERNMENTS JOB.

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