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War On Crime 'Needs More Than Just Words'

Bishop Simeon Hall

Bishop Simeon Hall

By RICARDO WELLS

and KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporters

rwells@tribunemedia.net

BISHOP Simeon Hall yesterday said the government, particularly Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, must set the pace if the country is truly expected to stand united against criminality.

Responding to Dr Minnis' recent plea for unity, Bishop Hall contended that a legislative review, inclusive of several constitutional changes, would be needed to jumpstart any true assault on crime.

"The war on crime must go beyond words," Bishop Hall said.

"The Bahamian people have a right to expect the PM to lead a successful war on crime because he promised to do a better job than the PLP did."

Bishop Hall said while there has been much reduction in crime since the Minnis administration has taken the reigns of government, the heinous nature of crime has remained a constant.

"Criminals are not threatened by words, regardless who proclaims them," said Bishop Hall, who serves as Pastor emeritus of the New Covenant Baptist Church.

"Criminals know that there will be no capital punishment carried out and they still believe that they can beat the judicial system.

"I will be the first to enrol in the PM's war on crime if he were to lead Parliament in introducing draconian penalties for those convicted of crimes," Bishop Hall added.

Among his suggestions of "draconian penalties" Bishop Hall called for all persons convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; a three-strike law that would imprison any person convicted of three crimes to an extended prison term; and the doubling of all gun related penalties.

On Sunday, Dr Minnis said that the country would be destroyed by the traumatic impact of violent crime unless its citizens and residents collectively waged war on criminality and dishonesty in every instance.

The prime minister reiterated the call on the sidelines of the opening of a national skills symposium at the National Training Agency on Gladstone Road.

"The public has to become involved. Families must turn criminals in," Dr Minnis said yesterday.

"Because there are two types of murder. We're looking at overt murder as we see individuals die. That's what you call the open murder that we can see regularly. We're not looking and concentrating on the closed murder that we don't see in society until 10/20 years later. That is the psychological impact on the society so you can imagine what has happened to H O Nash School and the family members.

Dr Minnis continued: "You can imagine when somebody is raped in their home or they're robbed in their home the psychological impact. We are just looking at capturing the criminal but we're not looking at what it has done psychologically, not only to that family but to the nation and then we see the impact ten, 20 years later and then we wonder why individuals are disturbed, why they are disturbed psychologically, why they are behaving this way.

"Therefore if we are to save the nation families, Bahamians must not just look at overt criminality, but they must look at how they can help to stop what will occur 10, 20 years from today and that's what we must declare war on."

On Sunday, Dr Minnis told The Tribune all law enforcement agencies have been put on full alert.

He said the entire Bahamas is needed to declare war on criminality and dishonesty if it truly intends to save itself.

According to The Tribune's records, 67 murders have occurred across The Bahamas this year.

Comments

John 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The common agreement is that we live in a sick society that needs healing. A society that breeds criminals and tolerates crime to the point of it being too unbearable. Too many young people are seeing friends and family and coworkers killed. Many young men have become walking zombies, with lack of feelings, no sense of direction, hopeless. Mummified. And, yes to the point that they see death as the only exit. How did we reach the point where the persons who supposed to hold the future has become the country’s greatest enemy? Not all of their own doing. Can someone search the script or scriptures) and see what has gone wrong. What does it mean that the fathers have eaten sour grapes and now the children’s teeth are set on edge?

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JohnDoes 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A society that breeds criminals, is a society that is failing due to the poor economic nature of the country. The people are unemployed, hungry, uneducated, and desperate so therefore they will resort to the next measure which is to steal, rob, kill, and take justice into their own hands. This is a problem that was bound the take the country by storm. From the days of Pindling's swindling, the fast careless life of the 80's to the slowly severed drug kingpin era of the 90's. Then people bring up the church. Yes, ye old chapel. The church physically exists in terms of buildings, chairs and pulpits, but does it really influence the wild spirits of the modern Bahamian? I think not, we have become too diluted with the lusts and materials of life to ever respect the vehicle that carries the spirit. Only God can save us.

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John 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Well maybe only God can save us because he warns us that the people who kept us in slavery for 400 years are still out to destroy us. They hated our forefathers but they hate this generation even more. So they give you their Hennessy and cocaine and guns and invite you to go kill each other up. But you ain’t seen hell yet. Wait until Donald Trump attempts to build the third holy temple. He that hath eyes let him see( for himself) and he that hath ears likewise.

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rawbahamian 2 months, 3 weeks ago

John, your people's own limited visions, lack of planning, need for entertainment and partying along with uncontrolled reckless breeding is what has kept you down combined with little to no self esteem coupled with double D grades is what has kept you'll in mental slavery, so stop placing the blame on others and look in the mirror to see who it is to blame for going no where and achieving nothing !!!

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bogart 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Accordingly the Bishop wants Constitutionall changes....fully agree. We needs to make the Bahamian Court of Appeal the final say on hanging. ...from an empirical view voctims will not see the accused murderer walking longside the victim family 10 years time after suffering and having to lay for their upkkeep at Foxhill. Chamges needs to happen for the many pore prople who suffer in silence.....there is littlt to show that the rich, wealthy, upper echelons, beautiful people ...(.except a few with a really biggest biggest heart an brains)....ever have the slightest understanding of the majority who happens to be the ..pore, ....downcast, ....wretched, ....heartbroken, ....impoverished, .abject poverty, malnurished...marginilized...victimized....who keeps getting....ripped off by.....hifalutin professionals..eye doctors who gives you bad glasses...dentists who mess up.....doctors who operate on you and the foreign doctor abroad who tells you what wrong was done....lawyers who mess you up.....Building contractors who rips you off..joke they seem to do the same to govt too....bankers who mess yoou up.....banks who do wrong to you and then sells ya house....banks who sells ya house wid you still in it.....car mechanics who rips you off....the list goes on and the pore downttodden......no help....programs that dont work.....plenty bull.....but no help......there is no Ombudsman....no Financial Consumer Protection Bureau.......there is simply nothing ...for the small ordinary man...but to bear ya chaff....as the injustices ...just wind tings up tighter.....more stress on ya plate....pressure up.....

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Economist 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hanging will do nothing to deter crime. It is society that deters crime.

The US has a higher murder rate than most developed countries and is the only one with the death penalty.

To stop crime one must fix the social ills.

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bogart 2 months, 3 weeks ago

....other factors at play...dynamics of small island.....such small groupings of families ...even to extent share same defectibe breast cancer genes...even recently syrongly supported equal rights issue for women but "small island society" went against it....small island still holds resentment against rights LGBTQ.....then the practical reality of shopping in same foodstore where number of persons who have murdered island families still walking around...deep psychological issues....fixing nations socials ills...I am all for that ...

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