EDITOR, The Tribune.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force continues its remarkable standard of performance in the “War on Crime”.
The Criminal Investigation Department and the Allied Units working with them have performed efficiently and effectively, resulting in the multiple numbers of arrests for serious violent crimes. Public and media appreciation and commendation for the creditable performance are rare, but complaints against the Police are usually front page news with critical comments. Those of us, who appreciate and recognise their standard of performance must show our support publicly. It encourages the officers to continue and enhances their performance. I was there for 30 years and I know the feeling of appreciation documents from our Human Rights enthusiasts are absent x on the gun crimes.
A police killing results in an abundance of anti-police comments on the front pages of our print media. Investigations and the inquests are very necessary. It must be recognised by virtue of the evidence and circumstances that Police shoot to live. Not to kill. (The topic is discussed in my book “Policing In The Bahamas 1951 & Beyond”). The Commissioner’s repeated comments on the serious crimes committed by offenders on bail for serious violent crimes have its merits. I know how he feels and the Force feel. However, bail is also a human rights issue for persons held for years in custody without trial. The government and the judiciary must consider what measures could be implemented to promote speedier trials. (The swift justice attempted by Mrs Alyson Maynard-Gibson, former Attorney General).
Previous suggestions, included the trials by Judges as opposed to jurors, and increasing the authority of Magistrates to hear cases, such as armed robberies, all cases involving stealing, fraud/forgery, regardless of those involved. Authorise Magistrates to award higher penalties. Supreme Court trials for murder and attempted murder, manslaughter, the sexual offences and crime against the State, e.g. sedition, etc. It must be immediately recognised that with the remarkable performance of our Police Service the number of arrests will add to the huge backing and our Judges and Magistrates will be committed to consider granting bail.
PAUL THOMPSON, Sr
May 24, 2023.