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Dames: ‘No Reason To Feel Unsafe’

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

DESPITE a bloody weekend with three homicides recorded, National Security Minister Marvin Dames insisted murders continue to trend downward, adding Bahamians have absolutely no reason to feel unsafe in the country.

In the days following the murders of a father and two teenaged brothers, Mr Dames warned criminals their days of wreaking havoc are numbered.

He further rejected the idea that a nation’s crime rate is a direct reflection of the government’s effort to fight criminal acts.

The minister said while the government has found some successes in the fight against crime - a 37.4 percent drop in murders along with overall crime trending downward by double digits – officials do not see this as a time to pat themselves on the back. He conceded the most recent incidents and others prove there is still work to be done.

Malik Cartwright, 17, and Delano Cartwright, 18, both died on Saturday morning after two armed men wearing hoodies opened fire in Roy’s Super Cuts Barbershop. One of the brothers died on the scene and the other died a short time later in hospital. They were two of three people killed in a 12-hour period.

A father, Wilton Brown, was also shot dead during a robbery on Saturday night shortly after he pulled up to his home at Refuge Court. His children were in the car at the time.

“I don’t want to speak directly to any of the incidents per se but the police have been investigating both matters,” Mr Dames said in an interview with reporters yesterday. “They’re pleased with the direction they are headed. They are getting information and this is the struggle we face in this country.

“You know you have matters such as the matter on the weekend and sometimes there are no signs pointing to these dangers. Because many of these young persons who are engaged in gang related activities tend to keep it within the group and feel as if they will resolve it the way they know how to. But our concern is for every single Bahamian.

“We are fully confident and capable of addressing these issues and that we will. We’re hoping that as we move throughout the rest of the year, these matters will become a thing of the past.

“We are confident that we will do whatever it takes within the framework of the law to ensure that Bahamians are safe and that’s our primary objective.

“We will not allow a small group of individuals who feel as if they can do whatever they choose whenever they want to reap havoc in this country and the police have zeroed in on these activities and they have informed me that they will do whatever it takes again within the frame work of the law to bring a level of order to this most recent incident.”

The weekend murders came four days after seven-year-old Camron Cooper was shot dead. Cooper, a second-grade student at Columbus Primary, had just left home to get into a vehicle waiting nearby to take him to school. A short distance away, two men were allegedly involved in a drug dispute in which a firearm was produced by one of them and shots were fired.

Camron’s body was hit by a stray bullet. He was taken to hospital, but died of gunshot related injuries.

Asked whether Bahamians have reason to feel unsafe, Mr Dames said: “Absolutely not.

“And it’s a warning to those young men in particular who are out there who feel as if they can do whatever they want whenever they want to. That is quickly coming to end and we will pursue them to ensure that they understand that as long as they live within this country they are going to abide by the laws of this country. But we cannot have young men roaming the streets whatever time of the day or night feeling that they can do whatever they choose to whomever they choose.

“The police clearly understand that and we will continue to send that message out to every pocket of this country until every person engaging in criminal activity gets the message.”

Mr Dames said the Bahamas is faced with crime challenges because of decades of neglect in which Bahamians have abdicated their responsibility as adults and as parents. He said children were allowed to roam aimlessly without structure or direction causing social decay.

The government, he said, is now faced with trying to build communities where young people can find wholesome and meaningful ways to live a law abiding and peaceful existence.

“We’re building it through programmes - through our revamped Urban Renewal; through our Citizen Security Programme; through our National Neighbourhood Watch Council. We’re building it through job programmes in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth (Sports and Culture). We’re building it through multi-ministerial programmes that involves all of the Ministry of Works and Education, National Security, the Attorney General’s Office.

“These are the medium and long-term measures that we’re beginning to roll out and especially during the upcoming fiscal period. But as we do that we recognise that many will gravitate towards it,” Mr Dames said.

Comments

watcher 5 days, 18 hours ago

Oh dear me.....another "no reason to feel unsafe, everything is fine". The last such statement was made by the old Police Commissioner, and the very next weekend armed robbers stormed into a supermarket out West in broad daylight.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

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ashley14 5 days, 18 hours ago

Unfortunately words are cheap! I read about people getting shot just leaving their houses, and I don't know any of the situations but it happens too often. What's being done about this? I don't see anything. It's not a simple solution. There's rebuilding the family, education and JOBS. Hungry people aren't happy people. People have to have hopes and dreams. Too many young men have died needlessly. Start with your family, It has to start somewhere.

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John 5 days, 18 hours ago

***"Mr Dames said the Bahamas is faced with crime challenges because of decades of neglect in which Bahamians have abdicated their responsibility as adults and as parents. He said children were allowed to roam aimlessly without structure or direction causing social decay.

The government, he said, is now faced with trying to build communities where young people can find wholesome and meaningful ways to live a law-abiding and peaceful existence."***

And now that he has been in office for over a year, isn't he starting to sing the same songs of his predecessors, "No reason to feel unsafe." And isn't he starting to dissect the crime figures under a microscope, just as the former administration did, just to take advantage of the slightest decrease in crime, and to convince they public that they are, indeed safe. But yet bodies are constantly being scraped up, of the streets, out of cars, in the driveways of homes, and yes out of barber chairs. And as records will bare out, the most welcome and appreciated and longest sustained period of 37% decrease in murders can be wiped out in a few short weeks as the summer months approach. This is when the killings really heat up. "

The government, he said, is now faced with trying to build communities where young people can find wholesome and meaningful ways to live a law-abiding and peaceful existence."*

This right here is the key to putting an end or at least a permanent handle on crime. New Providence needs to be segmented into districts. At least four. And all the infrastructure to sustain everyday life should be put into those areas. Post offices, places to renew drivers licenses and passports, recreational centers for the youth, bill payment centers for various government fees and the creation of regular jobs in that area so the regular ordinary resident does not have to travel across the island to go to work. So you reestablish a community like an environment, where everyone knows everyone and strangers are easily identified. This can be even more enforced by giving license plates that identify the general area a person resides. So if the police spots a vehicle registered in the Eastern area of the island driving in the Southwest after hours, then they have reason to stop the vehicle. The need to have everyone in a wild frenzy all the other island every day, to work, to drop off or pick up children to and from school, to the hospital, the passport office, So in essence you spend most of your time in their area where you live. In other words, people from Fort Lauderdale do not usually go down to Miami every day. And when someone from south Andros goes up North, everyone knows he is not from North.

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sheeprunner12 5 days, 17 hours ago

For every ONE "innocent" person who is murdered,10 are either involved in criminality or are revenge killings ........ Little Camron Cooper was a innocent victim, but those Cartwright brothers were already involved in the drug underworld.

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birdiestrachan 5 days, 17 hours ago

No Games Dames I was under the impression that the murder rate was year to date. But it is now month to month. even so No Games it is not getting better it is getting worse. The PLP government put Urbane Renewal in place But you say you will improve it.

Joseph said his brothers did him wrong but God allowed it to be good, The Former Commissioner .Greenslade can say the same thing.

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proudloudandfnm 5 days, 17 hours ago

Stop taking credit for cycles. The police are incapable of dealing with our incredibly severe crime problem. Get help! Bring in experts and LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY.

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DDK 5 days, 17 hours ago

Admitting there is a problem is the first step to solving the problem, Mr. Minister! PEOPLE DO NOT FEEL SAFE!

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bogart 5 days, 17 hours ago

....its a bigger picture that involves Tourist warnings, investors, expats ....more expenses to do business, razor wire, cameras, secuurity ....

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BahamasForBahamians 5 days, 17 hours ago

This guy has lost has marbles and is no longer in touch with the Bahamian people.

The chauffeurs and body guards must be clouding his ordinary judgement.

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hrysippus 5 days, 17 hours ago

I remember that crooked old hypocrite Bernard Nottage saying the same thing as he travelled around in his chauffeured limousine wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying a hand gun. I wonder what sort of character this ex-policeman is? Does he carry a hand gun? Does he too wear a bullet-proof vest? Does he ride easy in a chauffeur driven limousine? It would be so refreshing to have a cabinet minister who is not a hypocritical lying self-serving Waste of space.

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sheeprunner12 5 days, 17 hours ago

Will the Bahamian society descend into chaos .... or riots ??????

Most of the anti-social situations that we have is due to a lack of personal discipline and greed ......... Check our streets, public offices, schools, etc.

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DDK 5 days, 16 hours ago

We might, if the status quo is maintained unchecked.

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Porcupine 5 days, 8 hours ago

We should. But I think there are several factors keeping us compliant and silent. We are numbed by the constant barrage of horrible news. Whether it is the murders in broad daylight, or the wholesale attack on the working and poor classes by our own government. Lacking the education to understand the alternatives, what choice do we have? Perhaps it is what is termed "learned helplessness" in psychology. Or, it could be what appears to be an entirely distracted populace, lured to inaction by a sedentary lifestyle, and a mind-numbing diet of junk food, reality TV, facebook, social media and an unhealthy fascination with sports. Plus, a trigger-happy police force who will stand alongside the oppressors, while shooting first the people who want justice for all. Nothing new really.

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bogart 5 days, 16 hours ago

....yes we have heard....the ...ZERO TOLERANCE ON CRIME.....SWIFT JUSTICE....PROTECTION FOR WITNESSES....TOUGHER PENALTIES FOT ILLEGAL FIREARMS...

.....so the 'no reason to feel unsafe'.fits right in there and brings much relief ..

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TalRussell 5 days, 16 hours ago

Excellent News now that comrade people's security minister must insist Bahamalanders have absolutely no reason to feel unsafe in colony islands Nassau Town...... Does we be left presume, no more need some his Imperial red shirts cabinet colleagues be packin' loaded pistols Heat.... nor expect PeoplesPublicPurse foot the costs provide them armed Policeman's protection.... that no longer will Policeman's be required drive their red asses around Nassau Town in back seats government's fleet cars? For F--- sakes, why not try sending clear sign that Imperial red cabinet ministers are capable something positively different than simply resuming what the former PLP cabinet ministers, abused... including armed policeman's parked out front they residences, while ministers sleep.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 days, 16 hours ago

The gambling addicted hoods need money to support their constant desire to spin numbers. It's no different for them than the crack addict who needs his next fix. Of course His Royal Highness King Sebas and his side kick Sir Craig Flowers are the only ones laughing all the way to the bank as the social and economic fabric of our society crumbles right before our eyes.

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The_Oracle 5 days, 16 hours ago

Just as a Government is a reflection of society, so is Crime. Seems the two go hand in hand.

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TheMadHatter 5 days, 16 hours ago

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Dames on his early retirement from government and wish him the very best in his new choice of career as a comedian.

However, with the demonstrated ability here with this joke, he don't need any help or wishes from little old me.

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joeblow 5 days, 14 hours ago

His are the words of a man who simply cannot be trusted!

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Aegeaon 5 days, 14 hours ago

Well, we're going to be a narco-state at this point. Why doesn't Dames or any other National Security minister realize that they're under a Drug War, with gangs using superior tactics and equipment that outshines the police and Defense Force. It's time to stop lying and begin to start the counter-attacks against the gangs and their smugglers.

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Porcupine 5 days, 13 hours ago

Those who have been paying attention for the last 50 years fully understand how the war on drugs has merely enabled crooked governments and smugglers to make all the money. There is no logical reason to keep drugs illegal. Did we really not learn any lessons from prohibition? Crime would go down. And, then we could start cracking down on real crime. There are some law enforcement holdouts from another era who still advocate for a drug war. Mostly so that they can tighten their own grip on power. The thinkers in law enforcement realized quite a few years ago that the war on drugs was a failure for society. Unless, of course you were Oliver North, Carlos Lehder, Lynden Pindling.....................................................

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Aegeaon 5 days, 11 hours ago

Sure. We can legalize most drugs that are proven safe in certain amounts. The real problem is that the gangs and drug cartels are using natural drugs and altering them into chemical-contaminated versions of themselves. But overall, this has something to do with the gangs. They're trying to start Guerrilla Warfare in the Bahamas. They're winning, and if we don't turn this war around. Our legacy is forever tied to drug lords and terrorists.

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TalRussell 5 days, 13 hours ago

Ma Comrade Marvin's perception how safe residents communities and neighbourghoods feel, is how they're entitled to feel. But this is NOT the reality way people are forced to live mornings, noons and nighttimes in the broken capital city colony islands.

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BahamaPundit 5 days, 10 hours ago

The lack of empathy is the clearest winner in Bahamian politics. These guys are so thick headed that they don't seem concerned about anything. Empathy is not a weakness getlemen! However, your lack of empathy makes it appear that you are out of touch with the Bahamian people and, worse, don't have the most basic intelligence to do your job.

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UserOne 5 days, 9 hours ago

So Porcupine you think legalizing drugs will solve the crime problem? Like legalizing gambling? After gambling was legalized there were web shops everywhere and gambling has increased. Reports are that it has had a particularly devastating affect in Long Island.

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Porcupine 5 days, 8 hours ago

What we legalized is the monopoly on gambling, by those who had already unfairly gained a leg up on everyone else, illegally. A national lottery would be a way of looking at the social costs of this activity, and having some of that revenue to address these issues. We could do what we could to discourage the activity, protect families, and provide assistance to those unable to gamble responsibility. But yes Userone, the statistics do support the fact that the war on drugs has been a complete and utter failure being used for military purposes and for political and social control. There was never any intent to improve our societies. And yes, it is helping devastate Andros, as well. If were on the all-important topic of crime prevention, does anyone think this increase in VAT will not increase crime?

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joeblow 4 days, 17 hours ago

Has the minister given any reasons us of WHY we should feel safe?

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