EDITOR, The Tribune.
Dear Tribune and the Ministry of National Security, after my first success with the first letter, involving how The Bahamas would benefit from Private Military Contractors. I thought about another important thing involving the police and the Defence Force.
Why are we still doing the same old tactics over and over with crime? We obviously have all the available time to rethink our strategy and attempt something new. Instead, the police suffer low manpower, outdated and garbage-grade gear and petty distractions. How can citizens ensure that officers can protect their homes and their businesses if there’s no firm presence in crime heavy areas?
All while this is happening, the amount of gangs in Nassau has doubled over the years. Last time Carlos Reed gave the statistics in 2010, there’s 52 gangs and over 20,000 young men and women are involved, both recruits and hardened criminals, while both the police and the Bahamian navy is both 1,500 and 3,000 in individual personnel. This is a severe disadvantage the when number of recruits joining the forces are around 100 to 260 men and women, while gangs have double the amount of street gangsters joining every few months.
They’re still deadly, despite how homicides and armed robberies have decreased in the recent weeks. However, this is temporary. If the police drop their guard, they’ll go back on a killing frenzy. Thanks to the high-powered weapons and a sense of immunity, they feel like they can kill anyone and get away with it. Worse, that behaviour is encouraged by the lack of enforcement for extended periods of time.
The Defence Force could had made a short-term solution by coming ashore to help out the police in disrupting the gangs. Their training in tactical environments would had been put to good use, and it puts the gangs in a severe disadvantage as the criminals aren’t trained at all to handle any weapon type above handguns. Teamwork can also work for the soldiers and a detriment to the enemy.
What I’m saying is. We can’t be passive in the matters of crime in the Caribbean, because all we’re doing is following the flawed strategies that allowed criminals to evolve into more serious threats. We keep sidetracking to avoid paying to enhance our police and the Navy. This shows law enforcement has no backbone to deter more serious criminal organisations from setting up in The Bahamas.
Instead of wasting time on ineffective solutions. The Ministry of National Security needs to undergo a complete overhaul of both the RBDF and the RBPF to maximise effectiveness and ensure that the gangs are put down before things get worse. I thought about several ways that this overhaul can work based on reasonable options.
First is for the police and the Defence Force to have more modern gear, as the Uzi used by the police and the L1A1 SLR in the Defence Force is massively outdated and unacceptable. A sufficient replacement is the HK416 and 417 rifles, the MP7 and other modern weapons are more easier to handle. In reality, we don’t need to be a major standing Navy in the world. We just need modern gear to replace all outdated gear, along with adding more tougher vehicle such as transport helicopters and armoured vehicles capable of resisting explosive damage.
Second is to add advanced forensics technology to the police... and to have a new police training school larger than the old one. This would help the RBDF as they need a larger base for manpower, to coordinate missions effectively and viable equipment.
Third, both agencies need more training and live exercises to sharpen their skills extensively...
Then we could get another form of an intelligence agency, not the one that spies on people. And the last thing is for the RBDF is a Special Forces unit on the lines of the British SAS and Navy SEALs... For regional needs, we need a special operations unit capable of handling defensive measures for gunrunners and drug smugglers that transport their cargo into Bahamian waters, along with a joint effort with other host nations to help them stamp out more dangerous criminals in other Caribbean nations that will pose a later threat to The Bahamas or the US.
Ultimately, we need to arrest hundreds and thousands of criminals involved in gangs to reduce their numbers to below 10,000 and regain control of the streets. We can start by depriving them the flow of drugs, the production of drugs and the guns... We should unleash the fullest extent of the law upon them - ultimately enough to scare them for good.
With all of these measures. I plead to Marvin Dames, the entirety of the Ministry of National Security and everyone in both government and society to adopt these measures in hopes of restoring safety in Nassau, to show these criminals that we’re tired of being hunted down no matter what we do.. This could be expensive, but at the end of the day ensuring the safety of the country fully is never cheap.
You have to do it fully, which will cost us but the rewards are greater than what you paid for.
January 5, 2018.