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Nottage slammed for failure to tackle crime

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

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Former National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday castigated National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage over his recent response to the worrying crime problem, saying the tone of the Bain and Grants Town MP’s remarks was “deaf” and “insensitive”.

Dr Minnis also criticised the Christie administration over its failure to address homicides in The Bahamas, saying this is a “frightening” reminder that the government is incapable of leading this country.

His statement came after three murders on Sunday, including the killing of a church minister at a Scotiabank ATM.

On Monday, Dr Nottage had very little to say about violent crime when he was questioned by The Tribune, however he told a local daily that overall crime was down this year compared to the same period in 2015.

He added that Sunday’s murders were “unusual” considering crime trends this year.

Sunday’s killings pushed the homicide count to 56 for the year. Up to this time last year, the country had recorded 69 homicides, a difference of 18 per cent. However, 2015 was a record-breaking year for homicides, with police recording 146 that year.

Dr Minnis further criticised the government saying it is an administration of “no action”, filled with rhetoric and broken promises.

Dr Minnis said: “Of all the words that could be used to describe this weekend’s three tragic murders in The Bahamas, this Progressive Liberal Party government chose ‘unusual’?

“Apparently Minister Nottage thinks that these three tragic murders were ‘unusual’ – as in out of the norm, or not an unordinary occurrence. Unfortunately, for many Bahamians the violent crime wave, an example of which we witnessed this weekend, has become the common occurrence in our communities.

“Ordinary Bahamians know that the Bahamas’ murder rate has continued to reach historic records for each of the last several years. They feel it when they leave their homes at nights, or walk the streets. They do not feel safe in their communities, and they feel insecure in their own homes.”

He added: “Yet this government is telling them that the violent crime they see and feel is ‘unusual’. Not only is the tone of Minister Nottage’s words deaf and insensitive, but also his tone is a frightening reminder that this government is not ready to lead.

“The murder rate has increased every year they have been in power. There were 514 murders occurring under their rule, yet no response from this government. Sexual assaults against women are on the rise, yet this government does nothing to stem the tide of these vicious attacks.”

Dr Minnis commended Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade for proposing initiatives to combat crime, but said the government was not concerned with ensuring these initiatives were implemented.

“The commissioner of police recently proposed acquiring the services of a helicopter, and the acquisition and lawful deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles as well as the construction of a forensic science facility with emphasis on a state of the art DNA laboratory. As they have for the last four years, this government has failed to act on these important initiatives.

“We commend the commissioner for his proactive recommendations as another arsenal in his crime fighting strategy. In the meantime we get no action from this government. No time line for the implementation of anything. Instead more empty rhetoric and broken promises from this government.”

“What’s ‘unusual’ is that the PLP government thinks that they can ignore the people. Bahamians know you can’t fix a problem if you continue to ignore it. Under the FNM, there will be no more business as usual, we will take concrete steps to make our streets and communities safe and secure.”

When questioned by The Tribune about crime on Monday, Dr Nottage would only say: “We are constantly monitoring crime in the country. We are constantly instituting strategies and we will continue to do so.”

Apart from a murder count of 56 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records, police have also reported a recent spate of armed robberies, with 10 recorded during the past weekend alone.

Comments

Economist 8 years, 1 month ago

" Under the FNM, there will be no more business as usual, we will take concrete steps to make our streets and communities safe and secure.”

And what are those steps? Show how the FNM has the answer. Say it and if the PLP follows you can take credit for the saving of lives when you campaign.

birdiestrachan 8 years, 1 month ago

The Doctor is talking to hear himself. He knows that he does not have the answer to crime. No political party or members of churches. or the leaders of churches. It comes down to changing the hearts and minds of people. and only God can do that if he is welcomed into our hearts. We must all pray for God to make the changes necessary. and put less effort into Gay marriages. and more on the sense less killings in our home the Bahamas.

cmiller 8 years, 1 month ago

Hello????? Minnis????? The FNM failed to decrease crime too!!!!! It started rising seriously on their watch!!!!!!

Honestman 8 years, 1 month ago

" Under the FNM, there will be no more business as usual, we will take concrete steps to make our streets and communities safe and secure.”

Sorry if I am being cynical Dr. Minnis but this sounds just like the PLP in 2012. It is a popular sound bite but nothing else. Give us a clue as to what kind of steps you are thinking of and perhaps you might gain a shred of credibility.

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