Abaco Chamber director slams “disrespectful” crime downplay

Abaco Chamber director slams “disrespectful” crime downplay

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An Abaco Chamber of Commerce director said yesterday it was “disrespectful” to the island’s residents to see their crimes fears downplayed.

Krista Albury told Eyewitness News the frequency of burglaries and theft on the island was “totally unacceptable”.

She said: “Marsh Harbour and the surrounding areas is the epicenter of what is happening. We have seen an uptick in Defense Force activity which is welcomed but the same night they did the operation where a number of were arrested and they shut down all those establishments, the President of the Chamber of Commerce’s business was burglarized and over 40 sheets of plywood was stolen. That same weekend one of the local mechanic shops was hit for the second time. We want to know why there aren’t more police check points.”

Albury continued: “People are obviously getting around fairly easily and are showing a lack of fear for any repercussions. It’s all very discouraging. We are seeing and experiencing the crime yet we are being told it’s not as bad as it as.

“A year ago people were literally looting out of stores so a 39 percent decrease is the minimum I could hope for. It’s just gone from flat out looting to burglary.”

Police chief Paul Rolle recently indicated that that crime on the island had decreased by 39 percent compared with last year’s statistics.

Rolle, along with Minister of National Security Marvin Dames and Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Raymond King, visited Abaco earlier this week where they met with officers stationed in Marsh Harbour and island administrators to address concerns on the island.

“It is disrespectful to the people of Abaco to go out and essentially call us liars,” Albury said.

“No one can see the police. We want uniformed police officers and real patrol cars so people know the police are out there. To say it is not as bad as they say it is not true. Crime is at a totally unacceptable level over here.”

She added: “Every day I am seeing another story about someone’s home being burglarized or someone coming to the Chamber saying their business had been burglarized.”