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PM: Crime won’t hit tourism

Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.

Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said he doesn’t believe the country’s crime rate will affect the nation’s tourism product, despite continued warnings for American citizens to “exercise increased caution” in The Bahamas due to crime.

Mr Davis was asked yesterday if he was concerned about the issue after the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) president called for a more aggressive and unified approach by all members of society to combat crime, noting its impact on the country’s leading industry.

“I don’t think our crime rate would because it’s a contained issue that we have with crime, and hopefully, we are dealing with it effectively. Hence, I don’t think you would see any downturn on tourism because of that,” Prime Minister Davis told reporters at Baha Mar yesterday.

This comes as the country continues to see an increase in armed robberies and homicides, with the murder count now at 107, according to this newspaper’s records.

In a press statement released on Friday, Robert “Sandy” Sands, BHTA’s president, said while crime is recognised as a “global ailment,” small island nations like The Bahamas, which are heavily reliant on tourism, can be seriously affected if the vexing problem persists.

“The impact of crime left unabated is an absolute threat to our nation’s tourism product and to society,” he said.

“We must work assiduously and immediately stamp out the glowing embers that are threatening to ‘run hot’ in our country. We must enhance efforts to combat crime collectively.

“We in the tourism industry have a saying, tourism is in everybody’s business, so is crime. I cannot emphasise that enough. We must unite in the fight against crime.”

Mr Sands further questioned how people can be the best version of themselves “when we just lost someone we love because of crime”.

He continued: “Crime at any level is insidious as it is dangerous. We have seen what rampant crime can do to countries who have had to deploy extreme highly visible public safety measures to cauterise criminal activity.”

He also said the body is looking forward to continuing to work with the government, law enforcement, tourism stakeholders and civil society at large to crack down on crime.

On Wednesday, the US State Department updated its travel advisory for The Bahamas to include new health information.

The advisory maintains its level two security alert for Americans in The Bahamas, which advises residents to exercise increased caution due to crime.

The alert lists New Providence and Grand Bahama as the islands where most of the nation’s crimes occur and repeat previous warnings for Americans when travelling in certain communities.

“In Nassau, practice increased vigilance in the ‘Over the Hill’ area (south of Shirley Street) where gang-on-gang violence has resulted in a high homicide rate primarily affecting the local population,” the advisory reads.

“Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence.”

The alert also cautions American visitors of getting involved in commercial recreational water sports, including tours, warning that watercraft are not consistently regulated and may in some cases be poorly maintained.

Some operators may not have the proper safety certifications, the advisory adds.

Comments

hrysippus 3 months, 4 weeks ago

"Crime will not affect tourism." Also, Free Electricity for every Bahamian soon come......

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TalRussell 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Try bear in mind this is a lame without merit statement by a former deputy premier who's personal and family's security were placed under extreme danger whilst their own assigned state protective security detail residence was invaded by armed thugs. The now turned Premier couldn't possibly think crime hasn't affected the way tourists' and visitors' dollars swiftly react to the potential of being targeted as an easy mark. Crime news travels globally and quickly with its potential to alter travel plans. Bulk people can stay put at home get more than enough local filler crime without incurring cost and risk traveling to crime-invested and over-priced colonies ___ Yes?

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sheeprunner12 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Is this our Prime Minister speaking??????? ........... he has proven by his words and his deeds that he is not fit for the Office.

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John 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A few decades ago, aka back in the 70’s, America started its Fake War on Drugs and , as a joint partner, The Bahamas followed the US advice and started locking up, young school aged boys for small amounts of marijuana. The dangers of weed was so overblown by the Us agents that families were afraid to allow their own flesh and blood back into their homes after they had drug charges put on them. But the worst of it was some of these young boys were remanded to Fox Hill Prison and o others sentenced, where they were exposed to the real crime element. Hardened criminals that had broken every law on the books. Shortly thereafter there started to be a series of break-ins and yes, even robberies, where if the police were fortunate enough to catch anyone, it turned out to be underage teens, school boys. And it was a while before police caught on that the real criminals were using these young boys to do crime. The boys could only be charged as minors and in many instances only served a few weeks or months at Simpson Penn, before they were dumped back out on to the streets to have another go at becoming a hardcore criminal. As as these young men became more bold and brazen in their crimes, police and courts decided that the punishment must also become more severe. There is evidence that at least one young man was raped in prison at tge age of 14. And contracted AIDS. He was not even sentenced but put there by police to teach him a lesson. Unfortunately that lesson became deadly for him as the treatment for AIDS was not as advanced then as it is now. Another young man was sent to prison, also to be taught a lesson. He, too was raped in jail and after being released, he turned to violent crime that included rape. He was recently killed by police. So what is the point. The point is it appears that the more people that are sent to jail, the worse the crime problem is getting. This is especially true for murderers. Rather than being an institution for punishment and rehabilitation, the prison appears to be a breeding ground for criminals. For certain allowing persons charged with murder back out on the streets is not a wise idea. Either they will be killed or they will kill again. Young people do no longer fear going to jail and tge stigma of being a jailbird has transformed to ‘someone who done been to Fox Hill and so don’t mess with him.’ So solution to crime is to make Fox Hill more unbearable. And this may have to include physical punishment for some. And no exit for others.

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hrysippus 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Well Joahn, I can certainly agree with your comments on the disastrous American "Civil War on recreational Drug imbibers: Thank you Harry Anslinger, not. Forget the Foxhill prison sentences for drug crimes; they are an affront to righteousness, Harsher punishments breed harsher law breakers. Check out the different approach taken bt Holland, Denmark, or Sweden.

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John 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Well one day and hopefully before Bahamians are wiped out, someone will put the pieces of this puzzle together and stop the carnage: young black men are dying to violence mostly made by whom and coming from where? Not just in The Bahamas, but throughout the Caribbean Young women , some in their teens are dying from cancer and diabetes and hypertension other diseases. The cost of living for the average Bahamian is unbearable and unachievable and guess who is buying up all the land, beachfront especially? As the value of the Bahamas increases, the value of Black Bahamians decreases and the desire to dispense of them increases. Look at what happened to the original Australian people. Look what happened to fishing and farming villages in Nigeria and other parts of Africa where oil and other high value minerals were found. Hundreds of people were silently poisoned to death. Bahamians are under seige. Even the diet of most Bahamians is killing them. # fast food mostly loaded with salt and pork and sugars, coming from whence? The horses have left the gat and they are running. The pale horse is in the race.

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rosiepi 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Some heads become so unwieldy by their own self importance they cannot look down or round, but this guy lives in a whole ‘nother stratosphere!!

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