THE Free National Movement said it is concerned about the “bloodbath” occurring in New Providence and called on National Security Minister Wayne Munroe to present the government’s comprehensive plan to combat crime.
In a statement issued yesterday, FNM Deputy Leader Shanendon Cartwright lamented the frequency of violent crime.
“As we approach the regretful milestone of 100 murders in our country in a single year, we are deeply concerned about the bloodbath occurring on the streets of the capital, while there seems to be no coordinated strategy by this administration to stem it,” he said yesterday.
“The harsh reality is while this government is somewhere trying to figure out what to do, the streets throughout the country seem to be drenched in the blood of more and more victims of violent crimes. Just about every day and sometimes within hours, Bahamians are being alerted on social media of another murder, robbery or sexual assault taking place in one of our communities.
“The agonising cries from family members as the bodies of their loved ones are placed in waiting hearses, are now all too familiar scenes being played out in real time. One year into governance the Bahamian people feel no more secure, despite the promises of the government to deal with crime. While we applaud the work of the new police commissioner, we question the efficacy of calling for judges to limit bail to those who have been repeatedly accused of crimes, but not yet brought to trial.”
The St Barnabas MP argued that this is a judicial, legislative and constitutional issue that the “executive and Parliament must address”.
While the police are appreciated for putting their lives on the line to keep people safe and they applaud their work, Mr Cartwright added “we do not expect the commissioner to stand alone calling for institutional change while the government fails to address it”.
“After a year the Bahamian people only see a deep commitment to optics by the government, but little in the way of decisive action to deal with the increase in armed robberies, assaults and gun crimes. What is the current strategy of the government in relation to prevention, detection, interdiction and enforcement of our laws?”
He continued: “When can families within our various communities begin to feel safe to leave and reenter their homes again? What assistance can be given to business owners, especially those in Over-the-Hill communities to shield them from armed robberies and violent attacks? On behalf of the Bahamian people we are also asking the minister to present to the country his government’s comprehensive plan to combat crime and what measures are they putting in place in regards to rehabilitation.”
He said while in opposition, the government “represented to the Bahamian people that they had all of the answers to address and combat crime.”
He added: “Well they are now the government with the full resources of the state at their disposal, we join with all Bahamians in waiting for the government to emerge from their slumber and get the issue of crime under control. The police force is just one part of a larger machine dedicated to law and order in our society.”