Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash. (File photo)
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
POLICE will continue to focus on high visibility throughout the capital, according to Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash, who expressed concerns over the recent downtown abduction and sexual assault of two young women.
Mr Cash called the abduction an isolated incident, telling The Tribune that what began as an armed robbery – a crime of opportunity – led to several other crimes.
The young women were taken from the area of Nassau Court near McDonald’s downtown around 11:30pm on Wednesday.
“You need to be concerned about where you go,” Mr Cash said yesterday, “how you park, particularly if you are far away from where you are going. It makes you vulnerable prey.
“It is a concern when you have incidents like this happen in the downtown area, high areas where we have a lot of social activities. We want people to be cognizant of their surroundings, particularly where they park, especially when it’s far away.”
During the three-hour ordeal, one of the women was raped and the other was forced to perform a sexual act on the men, according to unofficial reports.
The women are believed to be around 18 and were headed to a bar in downtown Nassau when the incident happened, The Tribune was told.
The men allegedly attempted to get a ransom by ordering one of the women to call a family member and demand that $1,000 be taken to a specified location.
Police investigations led to the recovery of the two young women on Carmichael Road.
Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson’s 2019 police plan – tabled in parliament last month – signaled the organization’s intent to put a greater focus on tackling sexual offences. Police statistics indicate reported rapes increased last year by six percent over 2017.
Yesterday, Mr Cash was asked whether the incident indicated a need for increased police presence in the downtown area.
He declined to comment on whether its proximity to high tourist traffic will prompt renewed security warnings from the US embassy.
In February, the US State Department issued a “Level Two: Exercise Increased Caution” alert warning US citizens that violent crime such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault were common in tourist areas in New Providence.
The alert noted the vast majority of crimes occurred in the capital and Grand Bahama, but added the Family Islands were not crime-free.
Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive Jeffrey Beckles told Tribune Business in March the advisories threaten “the very core of our existence”.
Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar also declined comment on the matter yesterday.
Mr Cash continued: “Our primary objective is to prevent crime, and one of the strategies is police presence throughout the entire city, not in one particular area.
“It’s one of the things in our policing strategy to have high visibility of officers,” he added, “so we will continue to focus on that.”