NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames said yesterday he was concerned about the videos that circulated on social media this weekend allegedly showing newly promoted RBDF marines involved in vulgar conduct while ignoring COVID-19 assembling protocols.
Speaking on the matter ahead of yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Dames told reporters he was made aware of the videos after several people sent them to him over the weekend.
He said: “Someone would’ve sent it to me, a number of persons would’ve, but the Commodore and his team are very much aware of it and have been conducting investigations into it and so we await to see the results of his investigations.”
The videos showing people cavorting at a pool party came after a number of RBDF officers were recently promoted to higher ranks last week.
In a statement released on Sunday, the RBDF said officials were aware of the videos, adding that the imagery was being investigated to ascertain if those involved were actual RBDF personnel – adding that all guilty parties will be dealt with accordingly.
The statement added that the RBDF “dispels the myth” that the list of personnel whose advancement was rescinded, which was making the rounds on social media with the videos, is in any way related.
Asked yesterday if officials were concerned about the message it may send to the Bahamian public, he replied: “We’re obviously concerned and hence the reason why it’s under investigations by the commodore and his team. So, we look forward to seeing the results of his investigations. I mean as you can see, this is the time that we’re living in and Bahamians are concerned.”
The minister was also asked by reporters if he was concerned about crime increasing in the country once the curfew and lockdown measures were lifted.
However, the Mount Moriah MP replied: “I mean we’re always concerned about crime but I’m confident that very shortly, I’ll be laying the commissioner’s crime plan therefore, in Parliament. But we have been getting regular briefings and we’re confident that as a government, that we’re moving in the right direction.
“We continue to provide the requisite resources and improve the quality of the policing experience here in the Bahamas and we’re very, very confident that we are in fact on the right track and the plan that the commissioner and his team would’ve put together certainly for this period is a good one.”
Noting that overall crime is down in the country, Mr Dames said he believed that the curfew measures implemented by the government in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 may have played a role leading to the decrease.
However, he said officials will have to “measure” the exact impact the measures had on crime in the country.
Asked about the matter yesterday, he said: “I would suspect that the curfew would’ve had an impact on figures and certain categories of course. But as you see, I’ve been following crime globally especially during this pandemic and there are certain elements out there that will continue to wreak havoc no matter what. . .
“I think it is having an (impact) on crime and we’ll have to measure to see what kind of impact that is. But crime has been trending down for the past three years. Are we there yet? No, we’re far from it but I believe that we are on the right track and we will continue to do those things that are necessary to ensure that our people are kept safe.”