Commissioner: We Must Clean The Place Where We Live


Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson.


Tribune Staff Reporter


POLICE Commissioner Anthony Ferguson yesterday moved to end debate over crime statistics in the wake of another US State Department crime advisory. He warned that despite the positive trends Bahamians still needed to “clean the place where we live.”

Responding to questions on the recent level two warning while on a walkabout of several high crime areas to mark the start of police month, Commissioner Ferguson urged concerned Bahamians to do their part to clean up the country.

He said such a collective effort by police and communities would assist in ensuring the Bahamas is safe for residents and visitors alike.

“First of all, I learned that you must keep your own doorstep clean before you go elsewhere,” he told reporters. “So exactly where we are today, we must clean the place where we live. If we are doing a good job at that, then we can go elsewhere and help with that.”

Commissioner Ferguson said members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force were “very aware” of what was being said, insisting that they were doing everything possible to make the entire country safe.

“Every single Bahamian, every single person who would visit our shores, not just one set of people,” he added. “I think if we start to do a good job with ourselves, then we can do a good job with other people.”

When asked by reporters to speak about the argument being led by government officials that lower crime statistics should equate to a safer outlook for tourists, Commissioner Ferguson remarked: “I am not going to speak to what people think.”

He continued: “As the Commissioner, I have the statistics. We live in The Bahamas, you see what is happening. I think we have to judge it from there.”

The State Department’s warning on Monday noted that violent crime such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults were common in tourist areas in New Providence.

The alert also warned that the vast majority of crimes occurred in the capital and Grand Bahama, but added the Family Islands were not crime free.

As in previous crime warnings, the alert also prohibited US government personnel from visiting the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime and criticised activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, stating that they were not consistently regulated.

Visitors were also urged to exercise caution in the areas of Over-the-Hill and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay.

In response, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said there would be push-back, claiming the lowering of crime numbers should have positively affected the State Department’s outlook,

In a further response Wednesday, National Security Minister Marvin Dames contended the 2018 crime statistics were the best The Bahamas has seen in more than a decade and insisted numbers continue to trend down this year.

Mr Dames said: “Every country has the right to issue an advisory. A country issues an advisory based on whatever they feel that their citizens ought to know.

“We would have crunched some numbers during 2018 and from the numbers we would have crunched of matters reported to the police… Any crime against a visitor is one too many but we feel like those numbers can stack up against any country almost anywhere the world-over.

“We will continue to work with countries from around the world to see how we work together to collectively focus on the things we need to focus on to ensure that we meet a point where we’re all happy.”

In a subsequent statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the warnings from the US to its citizens were in line with recommendations the Bahamas also gives to its citizens travelling abroad.

Further noting that local law enforcement had made strides in the fight against crime, with a reduction in serious crimes like murders, armed robbery and shopbreaking.

“There has been and continues to be collaboration between the Ministries of Tourism and Aviation and Transport and Local Government with the Port Department to address needed changes in regulation and enforcement to ensure safe and responsible operation of commercial recreational water sport and excursion tour companies,” the statement said.


TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Yes, yes and yes I hear what comrade Commish Anthony saying..... but who and what are strange forces at work needing identifying which continues prosper while they allow Colony of Out Islands to have many communities that are living in Third .Word conditions, yes, no some amongst the select be getting rich and richer off misery?.


John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Just don’t fishbag the Tourist, Mr Commissioner, or beat them and break they arm or leg, because we all need to sweep in front if we doors. And we need we hand and legs dem to sweep. And what team that was that went to Florida to play in a tournament, just last December and their van got broken in and their passports, cell phones and other personal items got stolen. At least the tourists are mostly safe here, and once you clean up your own force and stop your officers from beating innocent victims and putting false charges on them and profiling them they you will see a drastic reduction in crime, because the public will support the police in their efforts. And be wary of some of these foreign agents and agencies that claim they come here to assist with crime. Just check how they operate in their own country. Infiltrating gangs and instigating crime and violence among certain groups to get headlines then going back and using deadly force against them. Just read the reports that they put out saying over 163 gangs are active in the Bahamas. Who created the MS 18 gang and deposed them to South and Central America. That now deadly gang that Donald Trump is so afraid of? And guess why?


John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Bernie Saunders says if he is elected President of the United States, not only will he release persons serving prison sentences for marijuana and other nonviolent offenders, but also ensure there records are expunged as quickly as possible so they can get a job and start their lives over. Donald Trump is already releasing up to 10,000 under a similar program, but here police are still stopping young men and searching, even in their drawers for marijuana. Would be interesting to see what the crime statistics will look like by years end after marijuana in that country will have been 100 % legal for a year. Part of the rationale behind the move was marijuana was the most smuggled substance across the Canadian border and caused many visitors not to be allowed back into Canada or residents who can no longer travel because of a record. And while taking marijuana across the Canadian boarder is still prohibited. Now boarder patrol would only confiscate if when found, like they do any other fruits, plants or vegetables. This may be a consideration for young tourists who visit this country.


John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The pipeline from high school to prison was designed for Blacks living in America. And they used the 'war on drugs' to facilitate that effort. And the government and law enforcement in this country went along with the program not understanding the motive or the consequences. Yes there is a serious drug and substance abuse in this country, but the abusers need education and rehabilitation as opposed to prison. The shock treatment by sending teens to prison and 'scaring' them has been found to do more harm and damage than good. Disciplinary organizations like the boys brigade, the rangers, police basketball and other sporting and civic events that instill discipline, and character enforces conflict resolution and team effort are more effective but these programs in this country are underfunded and withering away.


SP 1 month, 3 weeks ago

@ John.....You are wasting your breath talking to these neanderthals. Hubert Alexander Ingraham is one of those responsible for stupidly following the US "war on drugs" by making what anyone with sense would consider a misdemeanor for personal use drug possession into a ridiculous mandatory sentence.

26 (real) countries have abandoned the war on drugs while the Bahamas Island of geniuses dug their heels in deeper and continued the war in solitude jailing our youth and tourist alike for joints.


The police, sanctioned by prime ministers is still the biggest organized criminal organization in the country, dispensing thuggery, extortion, torture, drugs & arms dealing, and human trafficking, none of which can flourish without police protection in ANY country.

This is an absolutely unbelievable set of circumstances where the Bahamas is now leading the war on drugs but cannot find one corrupt politician in our country that has ALWAYS been inundated with political corruption!


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

To SP: The U.S. government is acutely aware of the significance of the matters raised by you in the last two paragraphs of your post immediately above.


John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The US government has a president who tells his audience to go out and grab women by their p.. pocketbooks.. any questions?


sheeprunner12 1 month, 3 weeks ago

What about cleaning out at least 30% of these lousy police officers??? ........ aka dirty cops

These cops surely see, hear and touch what is going on in their personal neighbourhoods. Cops live in every HOT crime spot in Nassau .......... yet crime goes on with little improvement in Kemp Road, Carmichael, Montell, Yellow Elder, Chippingham etc .......... and cops live there, too.


Apostle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Sheeprunner the police are the people and the people are the police. That's just the problem; you see yourself as someone different. Wake up and smell the coffee.


bobneville 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I hate to agree with some of these losers(above)but I am myself suffering from illegal actions in the area that I reside,which is zoned as residental, one is operating a garage,one has set up a trucking business,with old leaking oil in the ground tractor head,including a trailor for an office,and one has managed to build an apt building consisting of ten units ,on a corporal salary. reminds me of the days when my good friend a inspector use to go to work in a brand new fire engine red mercedes,and park it in the commissioner parking space, and he dare not ask him to move it, you remember that fellas?(,the neighbors in the area that are not cowards have been roperting ,these things for years, you heard me YEARS.therefore I am force to agree with some of the people above that are bad mouthing the goverment,because they cannot control their agents,stay tune ,Iwill be more detailed in my next letter to the editor.


John 1 month, 3 weeks ago

And not to forget it was the US that dumped tanks of nerve gas in our waters off Andros. They also wanted to do vaccines testing on Bahamians using the live AIDS virus.


bogart 1 month, 3 weeks ago

ADMIRABLE...ENDEVOVOR...OVER THE YEARS......'WE'. ...an ..'we'....firstest is the population from the urban areas crime accented uses to be the ....premier areas for socially economic upward mobile ....exiting these areas.....into upper ...middle ..subdivisions...into 10,000 plus govt housing homes.....and the struggling pore population moving into dese urban areas being very good rent payers..... Da used to Police frequent marching through to.... elicit...encourage...defer...Criminal intents ...an encourage cooperation etc......are different dynamics today.......different population...language...single family units mother wid many chillren...no father aroumd....Bahamian neighbours not known to each other..other different congested areas wid similar different cultural families...second ...third generation...much more divisions....dire poverty ....now...Gubbermint Walkarounds admirable...subressiion...strategy elicit cooperation.....needs to be augremted by udder strategies..immersion by social workers...active proactive by CONstituency offices to analyze..uplift...


ashley14 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Take pride in your home, it will be respected by all, even fellow Bahamians.


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