By LEANDRA ROLLE
FOLLOWING a string of recent armed robberies and home invasions in New Providence, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday police officers will be beefing up manpower in an effort to get the matter under control.
“We’ve heard of and we recognise that there’s (been) an increase in armed robbery, even in my own constituency in the Westridge area and other areas in the Killarney constituency, our residents have been complaining,” he said.
“I’ve spoken with both the minister of national security and all of the relevant authorities and they will beef up the manpower and beef up the security in not only my constituency, but within the entire Bahamas to ensure the safety of Bahamians.
“So, we’re going to put more manpower and what relevant materials and equipment are necessary to decrease this but we will get a handle on it and we will control it.”
His comments came days after a police office shot a suspected armed robber at a Carmichael Road plaza, moments after he and another man held up two people in a photo studio. Police said before 8.15am on Tuesday, two men entered Portraits-a-La Sawyers photo studio dressed in white jumpsuits, claiming to be window cleaners. They held up the proprietor and a worker and duct taped both of them.
When officers arrived at the scene, the suspected thieves attempted to shoot at the officers and flee the scene, prompting police to open fire. One suspect was wounded and taken to hospital. A police officer was also injured during the arrest.
Asked yesterday if the spate of armed robberies was a concern for the government, Dr Minnis replied: “One crime is a concern to me.”
Earlier this month, this newspaper reported that police were investigating after several break-in complaints were reported by residents in Palm Cay and Treasure Cove. There were also reports of break-ins in affluent communities in western New Providence.
The prime minister was also asked about marital rape legislation and whether the government had any plans to table new legislation concerning the issue.
“That’s a matter I’ll have to discuss with Cabinet colleagues because we have a lot of items and agenda items that we must deal with, and one has to prioritise certain things. So, we’re looking at the whole scope, the whole landscape,” Dr Minnis responded.
Marital rape has been a widely discussed topic over the years, but recently resurfaced after House Speaker Halson Moultrie told a local daily that he was conflicted on the issue. He said he leaned toward the spiritual view that a husband cannot rape his wife.
While Dr Minnis could not commit to tabling legislation on marital rape, he did say, however, that his government was committed to fully enacting the Freedom of Information Act this year.
“We are committed to it and we will do all that we possibly can, but in spite of that you have access to all information,” he said when asked about the issue.
Attorney General Carl Bethel has previously said that the government was hoping to have the FOI Act fully enacted by early May this year.