Advisory council on crime launched

Dr. David Allen, newly appointed head of the Advisory Council on Crime.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Ministry of National Security’s Advisory Council on Crime was launched on Wednesday under the leadership of Dr. David Allen.

The council’s main objective is to define the root cause of crime.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames and members of the council believe that abandonment and abuse are key factors that lead to crime.

“Upon coming to office in 2017, this Government realized immediately that to reduce the unacceptable levels of crime in our nation, we had to explore all measures and we started our plan of action,” Dames said.

More than 21 members make up the committee, and the council intends to work with the government to reduce crime by exploring all measures and providing a forum for citizens to speak on issues within their homes.

Dames said that when the FNM government first came to power, they realized that they would need to take a different approach in the fight against crime.

Dames said that police officers have their responsibilities, but the goal is not to find a quick fix for an issue that has existed in The Bahamas for decades.

“Last April, we introduced the National Neighborhood Watch Council and two weeks ago we had the contract signing for ShotSpotter Technology to introduce gunshot detection devices and today we are announcing the launch of the Ministry of National Security’s Advisory Council on Crime,” Dames said.

William Lunn, a member of the Crime Council said that when he works with school-aged students at the Boy’s Industrial School, he discovers that most of them were abandoned, abused and lacked any form of nurture.

The key elements of the Ministry’s Advisory Council will include leadership, research, education and advocacy.

The objectives of the National Advisory Council on Crime include:

  • To define and describe the root causes of crime in The Bahamas and to recommend creative ways in which this can be addressed
  • To provide a forum for citizens and others with ideas to deal with crime to present to the Council so that they can be fully heard and their ideas examined
  • To reduce the silo effect of all the bodies dealing with crime in The Bahamas by bringing together a working group to act as a microcosm of all the key stakeholders in the fight against crime
  • To develop, expand and refine programs that deal with the roots of crime.
  • To act as a think tank to discuss difficult issues in order to enhance how the law enforcement agency and citizens can work together.

Dr. Allen said that although crime rates have decreased, the council has played a major part in this by targeting the challenges of individuals before they retaliate.

“I believe when victims have time to share their pain and work through it, they don’t look to avenge and that in turn affects the murder rate,” Allen said.