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Police Increasing Efforts To Enforce Emergency Orders

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames.

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

AFTER three tourists were filmed jumping a fence to get to Cabbage Beach, National Security Minister Marvin Dames maintained yesterday that anyone found in breach of the COVID-19 emergency orders will suffer the consequences. This also applies to tourists, he said.

Three women from the United States were seen jumping a locked fence at the entrance of Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island on Friday. The Boston women told a man who recorded them, and later posted the video to social media, that they travelled to The Bahamas for the beach and were not deterred by beach closures in New Providence for the holiday weekend.

On Saturday, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said it “had no reports of people on the beaches” during Independence Day celebrations.

However, photos of the women scaling the fence spread on Facebook and were shown on a local news broadcast, sparking public outrage over why the women were not arrested for breaching the COVID-19 emergency orders while residents have faced harsh penalties for similar offences.

When asked about the issue yesterday, the minister replied: “... The greatest tool to any police organisation is the community and you demonstrated that in calling the police a few days ago. I would hope that they would’ve responded to your call for their service.

“…The law is for everyone and when you’re in breach of it, there ought to be consequences.”

Noting police cannot be everywhere, the minister also said officials are working to beef up manpower on the streets to ensure everyone is complying with the orders issued by the Prime Minister to contain the spread of COVID-19.

He said: “Again, there is increased presence and you will continue to see an even greater presence as we move forward and as we move into this new normal but, as I said before, police can’t be on every street and corner and police can’t be on every stretch of beach, but we’re working to rectify that.”

Asked if police had enough men to send to Grand Bahama in the event that a lockdown were to occur on the island, Mr Dames replied that officials have a plan in place, adding the public can expect to see some changes shortly. His comments comes as the island continues to see a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“Listen, we don’t sleep. Our Cabinet doesn’t sleep. Our Prime Minister doesn’t sleep, we have to develop a new normal moving forward,” the Mount Moriah MP said.

“We can’t stay on lockdown forever and COVID is not going away today or tomorrow and so we have to plan accordingly.

“As a Cabinet, we have been doing that and it’s not a week that doesn’t go by that we’re not spending an inordinate amount of time on this problem and how do we address it moving forward.

“I think you will hear some more things as the Prime Minister continues to update the public. But we have already taken care of that and very shortly, you will see some changes.”

Yesterday, Mr Dames also addressed concerns about police conduct after a Royal Bahamas Defence Force officer was among several people arrested last week, accused of drug possession.

Saying it’s “never a good reflection” when members of law enforcement are arrested, Mr Dames was adamant that any officer found not obeying the law will be held accountable.

“It’s never a good thing when a member of the law or a person in law enforcement is arrested for any crime. It’s never a good reflection,” he said. 

“After having said that, I think it’s a clear demonstration too that our good officers be it police, defence (force) or the Bahamas Department of Corrections, customs and immigration are not afraid to arrest their own when they are in breach of the law.

“And that’s how it ought to be. We are not here to condone the actions of any officer in violation of the law. If you are in violation of the law, there is a price to be paid. No one is above the law and that’s our stance and we will continue to move in that direction.”

Comments

moncurcool 4 weeks ago

A man goes in front of a statue of Columbus at government house and goes on social media and the police are quick to arrest him. three tourists break the curfew beach laws and the police do nothing. Amazing how Bahamians hare hauled before the courts by police for breaking emergency orders, but police won't deal with the tourist. Talk about discrimination. When you'll get that right then you can come ad talk Dames.

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tribanon 3 weeks, 6 days ago

You just can't ever seem to get. Unlike Bahamians, the most serious punishment these American tourists can ever get for breaking the law is a slap on the wrist fine. And that's because there isn't a single prison facility in the US with the horribly deplorable and appallingly inhumane conditions of Fox Hill Prison.

If you want Americans who break our laws to face the possibility of imprisonment as a deterrence to breaking our laws, than I suggest you help government find the money and conscience to make Fox Hill Prison a much more humane place for incarceration. For decades now we Bahamians are the ones who have done nothing to address the appalling conditions at Fox Hill Prison; accordingly, it's a place that's only rightfully fit for incarcerating Bahamians.

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tribanon 3 weeks, 6 days ago

My 1st sentence: "...get it."

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moncurcool 3 weeks, 6 days ago

I get it. You don't. There again I am referencing discrimination. And again you prove my point. Only put Americans in prison if is fixed up, but bahamians must go there no matter what. Again, prove the point that we love to discriminate against our own. Foreign is not better. And Bahamians deserve the same treatments that we give to tourists

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tribanon 3 weeks, 6 days ago

The police and other law enforcement officials are being given much more of our country's very scarce resources to help enforce Minnis's police state than is being given to our public healthcare system to help combat the scourge of Covid-19. Something is terribly amiss here.

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mandela 3 weeks, 6 days ago

In theory, no-one is supposed to be above the law but we all know better, the RBPF officers are so D-average they are pulling over motorists with their windows up and A/C piping and driving without a face mask, I mean how D-average can a person be. They are so D-average a person would be lost for words and they only go after black Bahamians. White tourist come and break our laws and nothing is done and nothing will be done, a white captain confronts officers while having guns and ammunition in his possession and firing at them and nothing happens in fact they ran away from him, In the mornings they get out of bed and looks in the mirror and hates what they see, a D-average bully, they then goes out to hate on other persons their own color and worships persons of a different color.

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bahamianson 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Mandela , where are you getting this information?

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mandela 3 weeks, 6 days ago

I read a lot and observe if you read today's Tribune you will see tourist gets a complete discharge, why? they told the judge that two police officers in brown told them they would turn their backs and close their eyes while they enjoy the beach, ok cool but then they arrest Bahamians for not wearing masks.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 6 days ago

In the name Comrade Moses Pindling, stop with the, as a Mr. Minnis' substantively appointed cabinet redcoats where it’s not a week that doesn’t go by that we’re not spending an inordinate amount of time on this problem, and how do we address it moving forward...and listen up cause we substantives - we don’t sleep. Begins stage one to explain why so bad at governing The Colony?
My red coats colleagues doesn’t sleep. Our Dear Leader Mr. Minnis, 'em doesn’t sleep a wink since May 10, 2017. .More so kinds explain why 'em so damn bad at governing The Colony?
Just couldn't make this stuff up. Just, couldn't. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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