Minister of National Security, Dr Bernard Nottage
By Royston Jones Jr.
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Minister of national security, Dr Bernard Nottage, met with US officials at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, on Thursday to discuss concerns surrounding the crime problem in The Bahamas, Prime Minister Perry Christie said.
Christie also said that he (Christie) met with Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade earlier this week to finalize plans to implement the government’s new crime-fighting strategies.
Christie told the media that Nottage and US officials reviewed matters that could impact what the Bahamian government does in the crime fight, particularly with gangs.
He was responding to questions surrounding crime and a US Embassy advisory, which revealed that five US citizens have allegedly been sexually assaulted by jet ski operators in the last year and a half.
“Dr Nottage and the chargé d'affaires [met] yesterday and today at the FBI headquarters in Washington where they are reviewing certain matters that will be important to what we do here in The Bahamas,” Christie said.
In an advisory on Tuesday, the US Embassy in Nassau warned American citizens not to patronize the water sports industry in The Bahamas after a jet ski operator allegedly raped an American tourist over the weekend.
In response, minister of transport and aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said the man charged with the crime does not have a licence to operate a jet ski.
When asked for more details on the government’s crime plan and when it will take effect, the prime minister responded, “I have indicated that I am not going to pretend to be the commissioner of police.
“The commissioner of police has had very strong meetings with me in the last 48 hours.
“I expect the commissioner of police in his annual report to speak to what is going to happen.
“I have already said to the people of The Bahamas what to expect.”
When contacted on Wednesday, Greenslade said he will report to the Bahamian people “very soon”.
In 2010, there were 94 murders recorded in The Bahamas, a record at the time.
The next year there were 127 murders and in 2012 there were 111.
There were 120 murders in 2013, 123 in 2014 and a record 149 last year.
Last month, Christie said the government will provide more police officers, modern equipment and expanded CCTV.
His pledge followed an earlier commitment in October that the police force would roll out new crime-fighting strategies, which may impose on people’s freedom of movement.
He said the government will soon have “good news” on the fight against crime.
Opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis has said the government needs to declare a “war on guns” and seek out the assistance of US law enforcement agencies to address the importation of illegal weapons.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian