Govt calls in FBI on crime

Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage.

Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage.


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE government has invited a special task force from the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist local law enforcement agencies in combating “the drug and gang culture”, according to Minister of National Security Dr Bernard Nottage.

In an interview with The Tribune at police headquarters on Saturday, Dr Nottage said he, as well as Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, will give an update on the government’s new crime fighting strategies this week.

Earlier this month, Dr Nottage met with US officials at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, to discuss concerns surrounding the crime problem in The Bahamas.

Dr Nottage said he was made aware of a number of crime fighting strategies in those meetings that, if implemented in The Bahamas, could “significantly reduce the crime problem”.

“There are issues on the crime front in The Bahamas that are difficult particularly the whole question of gangs.

“There seems to me to be a connection between drugs, guns and gangs and the gangs are primarily made up of at risk young men,” Dr Nottage said.

“The gang culture is at the root of many of the murders and it is our impression that people are really very concerned about the number of murders in the country, more than anything else, more than any other crime. So it is important for us to look at how other people are fighting this problem in other parts of the world and one of the places we went to look at what they are doing is Washington.

“The FBI has a number of gang task forces in different parts of the United States which are using new strategies in dealing with gangs and we went to look at that and the truth of the matter is what we have seen is a lot that is different than what we are doing here. So the prime minister is of the view that it may assist us and assist law enforcement agencies to invite a task force (from the) FBI to come to the Bahamas to look at what we are doing and advise us. Consultation is something we have in other areas of governance but we have not done a lot of that in law enforcement and I think it will do us well to have that kind of exposure and let them see what challenges we have and what suggestions they may have for us.”

Last month, Prime Minister Perry Christie vowed that the government would introduce “tougher measures” to combat crime in 2016. During his Christmas address to the nation, Mr Christie said reducing crime is “a challenge of the highest priority” and the government is determined to “wrestle it to the ground in the New Year.”

The country recorded 149 murders last year, the highest ever in the history of the Bahamas. The previous murder record came in 2011, under the Ingraham administration, which saw 127 killings that year.

The country has already recorded four murders this month.


proudloudandfnm 8 years, 5 months ago

I am pretty damned sure our police know this is a gang war.

I am pretty damned sure our police know exactly who are in these gangs.

So what is the problem?

Why do we need the FBI if we know who, what and where?

More bull from the PLP....

asiseeit 8 years, 5 months ago

It does not matter who they consult, the judiciary will just let the murderers out on the street to kill again. Until both the ENFORCEMENT and JUDICIAL sides of law enforcement get their act together we are doomed. Another thing, move the prison to an island down south where these rats are truly out of our hair.

Greentea 8 years, 5 months ago

this won't happen because the lawyers don't want to travel...and they make the rules.

dahasamo 8 years, 5 months ago

And then it would be encouraging if the police and prosecutors knew which law is in force before charging persons.

TruePeople 8 years, 5 months ago

Interesting in many ways.

1) if the US is coming over here to enforce rule of law, then we live under US rule of law. Thus in another small way we are not an independent nation (our currency is owned by the US already, and obviously the queen is our head of state, Privy council has the last call on our judicial system)

2) what if the FBI find our the gov't role (direct or in-direct) in domestic crime from street-level all the way up to the HOA (and they is be in some shady business believe me). What then? kick the FBI out? say they're mad?

Proud and Loud point out that the police them know a lot of the offenders, what happens to our police? are they out-sourced to the US? what about police corruption? will they start arresting our police officers?

Interesting to see how this plays out.... but ya.... we're not free in our own country here, and have never been

BahamaPundit 8 years, 5 months ago

Hallelujah!!! It's about time. I am very pleased with this turn of affairs and hope for the best. For once, the PLP have made a decision I support 100%.

TheMadHatter 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree completely. I wish somebody would start a RALLY or drive or some movement to have us vote and get the USA to invite/agree for us to become the 51st state in the USA. We already are anyway to a large extent.

BahamaPundit 8 years, 5 months ago

There is more to this than appears. I am quite sure that behind closed doors, the US Embassy told our government that unless they fix crime, they would block US tourists and cruises from coming here.

ThisIsOurs 8 years, 5 months ago

You could be right, the Charge D'Affaires mentioned that our crime levels were unacceptable, she was very strong in her language, I was even a little surprised.

I can't think of any crooked politician who would happily welcome the FBI to investigate the flow of money in this town without some prodding

banker 8 years, 5 months ago

Having once played golf (the starter matched us up) with an FBI director stationed at the embassy, I know that they are concerned with many things about the Bahamas, and this "cooperation" gives them another window into the state of affairs here, including Fweddie's dalliances with enemies of the United States, and the government corruption AND the criminal activity including drug running and human trafficking, all of whom have ties to the governing PLP.


sheeprunner12 8 years, 5 months ago

I support BJ on this one ............... hire 500 US agents and send home 1000 local crooked police ........ good trade off .................... and see how fast the crime will drop

ThisIsOurs 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree, the road to prosperity is paved with some convictions and prison terms

sheeprunner12 8 years, 5 months ago

Maybe BJ is sending a message that he invites the FBI to come in and find out the dirt on his PLP 3.0 colleagues .............. a fascinating thought ......... is this PLP 1.0 all over again??????????????

reverendrichlive 8 years, 5 months ago

This is a slap in the face of our so-called INDEPENDENCE. If the FBI cannot solve the crimes and gangs in the many US cities how are they going to solve crimes out of their jurisdiction...there is more to this than we are being told. Personally, I think that the Bahamas should be a protectorate of the USA...Like the Virgin Islands, after all, we are right next door. When America sneezes we catch a cold. This my friend is the beginning stage. I AM FOR IT ! I support any Bahamian government that would pursue this. Like the Virgin Islands we would retain our culture, etc. while benefiting from our BIG BROTHER in the north. I welcome this, let the negotiations begin. richlkemp.com

TalRussell 8 years, 5 months ago

Comrades you reds make it out sound likes there are thousands PLP''s and thousands others who voted for this PLP government that they are willing defend bad governance and skyrocketing crime?

pablojay 8 years, 5 months ago

Vat consultants,NHI consultants,FBI crime consultants. These are the persons who are spewing anti foreign vitriol, especially around election time and they bring in foreign consultants for everything besides cleaning their backsides. I wonder what Frequent Flyer Fred thinks of this.

John 8 years, 5 months ago

Part of the US anti-gang strategy was to take known gang members out of their prisons and deport them back to their home county. Many of them were sent back to South America. Unfortunately many of the receiving countries were ill prepared to deal with gang members and the violence they engage in. Some of these countries saw their murder rate double and triple in just a few years after the gang members were returned. Unfortunately here most of the gang members are Bahamian so there is no other country to ship them off to. Gangs thrive on violence and murder, as statistics indicate. So an anti crime strategy must include an anti gang strategy and an anti gun plan. Gangs recruit even in the 8 and 9 graders in schools. Gang members earn stripes by committing serious crimes. The most serious being murder.. It would be interesting to see what strategy the FBI suggests because gangs also thrive in and take over prisons. Since there is no capital punishment the problem the country will face in a few years is obvious.

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