By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis launched the Neighbourhood Watch Crime Council last night at the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s headquarters.
The Free National Movement promised the council in its 2017 manifesto, saying it would “oversee and promote neighbourhood watch activities throughout” communities.
Neighbourhood watch groups exist in The Bahamas already but officials believe the council will organise and strengthen the groups.
“This programme will also bridge the gap between the police and the community in partnership to address crime related issues affecting neighbourhoods,” Dr Minnis said yesterday. “Each police division has a liaison officer who will provide logistical support to the various crime watch groups within that particular division. The council will format guidelines that will govern the management and operations between the police and the community. The council will also explore the introduction of additional CCTVs and citizen patrols along with other crime prevention measures as a part of its community focus.”
According to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, the murder rate has declined by about 45 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year.
Dr Minnis said this is not by chance, but is the direct result of carefully constructed policies. He said the council is an example of an initiative that will further curb crime.