By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
Tribune Staff Reporter
CARLOS Reid, a consultant in the Ministry of National Security, said 42 percent of the people killed this year were on bail.
His comment came as the murder tally nears 100, a threshold Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said he wanted to avoid.
Ninety-six people have been killed for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.
“This was all our hope that we wouldn’t get to the number,” Mr Reid said.
“If we were to take the numbers of persons that would have been locked in prison out of the equation, then the numbers would be significantly low.
“Now, the challenge is that the constitution says that a man is innocent until proven guilty.”
“The constitution also says that if we cannot bring them to court in a reasonable amount of time, then we have to give them bail.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Leamond Deleveaux described bail yesterday as “almost a death sentence,” saying law enforcement is doing what it can to reduce Bahamians’ fears of crime.
“We can see almost certainly once a person is granted bail, that’s almost a death sentence to them once they are on bail for murder or armed robbery, more particularly murder or attempted murder,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the country will record fewer murders than the 128 last year. There were 113 murders in New Providence in 2022, 12 in Grand Bahama and three in the Family Islands.
According to police statistics, retaliation, gangs, drugs and conflict were the most common motives for murders in 2022, representing 76 per cent of the killings.
Yesterday, Free National Movement Deputy Leader Shanendon Cartwright said the government’s crime approach is inadequate.
“Over the last 23 months,” he said, “the nation has sadly amassed 224 murders, an average of close to ten murders a month over the same period.”
“Despite these startling and unacceptable numbers, the government has refused to lead and remains negligent in presenting to the Bahamian people a comprehensive anti-crime plan.”