THE Free National Movement has accused Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis of launching an “unprecedented campaign to attack any and all signs of progress in the country,” after Mr Davis said last week the ShotSpotter technology was a bad investment.
According to the FNM, the ShotSpotter technology has alerted authorities to over 187 gunshot incidents since March.
“Leave it to the old and tired Brave Davis to talk, talk, talk but say nothing,” a statement from the FNM noted.
“Brave’s unprecedented campaign to attack any and all signs of progress in the country are staggering, only rivalled by his continuing nonsensical litany of... mistruths, and most of all, hypocrisy.
“This time, the old and tired Brave Davis is taking aim at the administration’s ongoing efforts to fight crime. Davis – who was a key leader in the previous government when the murder rate hit historic annual highs, year after year – has now re-made himself into the PLP’s safety patrol, claiming he knows best on crime-fighting measures even though he failed to introduce or implement them when he held power. ‘Crime expert’ Brave would have us believe the implementation of the ShotSpotter programme is a wasted investment.
“Of course data and facts prove him wrong, but that won’t stop the PLP’s intrepid Brave Davis. It’s stunning how silent the woeful PLP has been on the issue of crime, given the Minnis administration’s progress in reducing crime over the last two years; yet when they do chime in – like the old and tired Brave Davis did recently – it’s usually a broken-record type attack short on solutions, data, and policy, but high on heated and empty rhetoric. Brave did his PLP duty with his latest attack, he can check the box and go back to sleep.”
The party also said, “When the Minnis administration took office in 2017, it inherited an absolute disaster in regards to police infrastructure and technology - 80 percent of CCTV cameras were inoperable and poor bandwidth limited the use of working cameras. The Minnis administration immediately repaired 200 of the 243 cameras and will soon be putting additional cameras online. The ShotSpotter devices, which Brave of course rails against, has alerted authorities to over 187 gunshot incidents since March of this year alone.”
On July 2, Mr Davis slammed the government’s investment in the ShotSpotter technology. His comments came following the mass shooting in Montel Heights, where 14 people were shot.
At the PLP’s monthly press conference, Mr Davis said the technology was a bad investment.
“Fourteen persons were shot...how did the ShotSpotter programme aid in preventing that horrific event recently in Montel Heights?
“We need as a country to do a better job keeping people safe. It’s just that simple. Here again, we need serious policies and investments, not propaganda. More investments in prevention rather than detection,” Mr Davis said.
Earlier this year, the government signed a $1.9m contract with a technology provider, ShotSpotter in an effort for law enforcement agencies to pinpoint the location of gunfire.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and National Security Minister Marvin Dames said the new programme highlighted their commitment to modernising crime fighting tools and equipping agencies with the latest technologies.
Gunshot detection systems work by deploying optical and acoustic wave sensors that detect impulsive noises atop rooftops or utility poles. The sensors locate the origin of gunshots and the information is quickly transmitted to law enforcement agencies.
Mr Dames said, at the time, said he had “completed sufficient research” and is satisfied the technology will help reduce the high gun related violence in the Bahamas.