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Murders up 39 percent in The Bahamas
Published on August 22, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version


By Royston Jones Jr.
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Murders in The Bahamas have increased by 39 percent between January 1, 2017 and August 20, 2017, compared to the same period last year.

There have been 89 murders for this year. As of August 20, 2016, there were 64 murders.

Three killings were recorded last Friday.

There were 95 murders as of August 20, 2015; 76 murders during the same period in 2014; 68 in the same period in 2013; 78 murders up to August 20, 2012 and 91 in the same period in 2011.

There were 146 murders recorded in 2015, the highest in the recorded history of The Bahamas.

The previous murder record was 127 in 2011.

There were 111 murders in 2016, down 23 percent, compared to the previous year.

In the face of the recent murders, national security minister Marvin Dames on Saturday announced several strategies the government is undertaking to address crime in the short and medium-term.

Key among them are a pledge to increase intelligence operations to disrupt gangs; adopt a more aggressive approach to shutting down drug houses; increase closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance in crime hot spots and establish a national crime prevention and neighborhood watch council, which is expected to facilitate the creation of more community-based crime watch groups.

In opposition, Dames questioned the Christie administration’s crime-fighting measures, presented in Parliament by the late Dr Bernard Nottage, the then minister of national security, following the murders of seven men in four days in February.

A part of the crime-fighting measures included directing the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to work with police.

Other plans included increasing foot patrols in crime hot spots, an aggressive stop and search of suspicious people and vehicles; and the activation and placement of specially designed mobile phone vans to serve as manned police stations in communities where violent crimes take place.

At the time, Dames said these were all fundamental policing tasks, suggesting that they ought to have already been in place.

While murders have notably trended upward this year, the overall crime trends remain unclear, as crime statistics for 2017 have yet to be released to the public.

Notwithstanding the lack of statistics, the minister has repeated that while some of law enforcement’s short-term crime-fighting strategies have begun to yield results, it would be “absurd” for anyone to believe there will be a significant reduction in crime in the country overnight.

However, Dames told The Nassau Guardian recently that his ministry, in partnership with law enforcement agencies, is reviewing the deep-rooted issues that lead to criminality, and as a part of a multi-pronged approach, long-term measures will be introduced to produce the desired result.

These include a review of crime statistics and the way authorities collect data, as well as establishing crime reduction goals in various categories of crime.

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian
Reads: 2722

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