National Security Minister: ‘Very, very aggressive’ anti-gang bill to be reviewed by Cabinet first

MINISTER of National Security Wayne Munroe.
Photo: Dante Carrer

MINISTER of National Security Wayne Munroe. Photo: Dante Carrer


Tribune News Editor


NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe said a draft anti-gang legislation is “very, very aggressive” and Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis wants Cabinet ministers to review it before it is released for consultation.

Mr Davis said weeks ago that the bill would be released imminently.

The murder rate has dropped after a bloody January. Still, government officials have said the anti-gang legislation is critical to reducing murders, many of which are suspected to be gang-related and retaliatory.

In January, Mr Munroe said the administration was grappling with how to prove someone is a gang member.

“The nature of The Bahamas is this: a bunch of us are related to each other,” he said. “So, if you see us together and acting in concert, are you saying we’re a criminal gang? And when you charge us being a criminal gang, I say, well, that’s just my cousin. The question of burden of proof, standards of proof, have to be looked at with regard to particular circumstances.”

“The starting issue is this: How do you prove someone’s in a gang? There’s issues about the burden of proof,” he told reporters at an Office of the Prime Minister press briefing. “One of the most vexing things is your relationships are often known by the person themselves who are in a relationship.”

Asked if he believed the current anti-gang legislation was ineffective, Mr Munroe noted the lack of prosecutions over the years.

He said: “It’s been in place for some time, right? The police have their intelligence of who these gang members are. The fact that you’ve not had a multiplicity of prosecutions indicates that the current law in our reality has issues around proof that are challenging, and that is what we’re looking at to address.”


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