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Complaints Against Police increased by 40 percent

Police officers at the scene on Nelson Street in Yellow Elder where a man was killed by an assailant who shot him multiple times with a high power weapon on April 15, 2024. Dante Carrer

Police officers at the scene on Nelson Street in Yellow Elder where a man was killed by an assailant who shot him multiple times with a high power weapon on April 15, 2024. Dante Carrer

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune News Editor

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

POLICE have reported a rise in complaints about officers. 

Complaints against police officers increased by 40 per cent in 2023. Civilian complaints about police rose by 13 per cent, from 170 to 192.

Meanwhile, internal police complaints increased by 121 per cent: from 58 to 129. Corruption complaints increased by 29 per cent: seven in 2022 and nine in 2023.

Of the civilian matters, 59 were found to be unfounded or to have insufficient evidence, according to statistics police released yesterday. Ten were informally resolved and two were cases in which the officer was convicted or resigned. Five resulted in warnings or civil action. Fourteen are pending trial. One involved a file sent to the Central Investigation Department.

 “This was always a concern for myself and the top team as we continue to ensure that our officers do the right thing and where we find that they go contrary, they are charged and put before the court,” Commissioner Fernander said during a press conference. “We want to build that trust with the Bahamian people; that they want to know that their police officers are with them and not against them. We want to ensure that discipline is the order of the day.”

“When you breach, there’s a penalty or it will cost you your job.

“You cannot be a part of this notable organisation if they are involved in a life of crime.”

 Commissioner Fernander said police-involved shootings decreased by 25 per cent, with 12 incidents in 2023. Five people were killed, down from ten in 2022. Seven were injured.

 Last July, National Security Minister Wayne Munroe said his ministry was preparing to submit a Security Forces Inspectorate bill for consultation, hoping to establish a body to oversee investigations into civilian complaints against security force members.

 He said members of the Police Complaints Inspectorate pushed him to make the Inspectorate more robust. Established by the Police Act in 2009, the body oversees the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Complaints and Corruption Unit, but its work is a mystery. In its annual human rights report, the United States has repeatedly noted the lack of available information about the body.

Comments

John 1 month ago

You would think that with the coroner’s court back in operation and the number of police officers being found guilty of manslaughter, the police would tone down their behavior. But the public has become more rowdy and more difficult to police. Everyone seem so emotionally charged and disrespectful of the law and law enforcers. Just look at how people drive

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stillwaters 1 month ago

Even for police stops where they are respectful, the first thing most young men and a whole lot of young women first do is to fly up into the policeman's face........ yelling and cussing.

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