Bishop pushes for stiffer gun penalties, phycological profiling

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Following a spate of gun-related violence that transpired in the New Providence in recent weeks, Bishop Simeon Hall yesterday called for the government to legislate harsher penalties for the illegal gun possession.

“The criminals do not take notice of statistics nor your pronouncements,” Hall said.

“What the criminals take note of is how are they going to face the consequences of their illegal actions, and until the government along with the community sends a strong message to criminal-minded people in our country, we will have these kinds of acts.”

“We keep playing with these things. And all I’m saying is we need to become more draconian and send strong messages to the criminal-minded.”

Mandatory minimum sentences were reintroduced for drug and gun crimes in November 2011 under the Ingraham administration as part of a compendium of anti-crime laws.

In 2014, amid pressure from the judiciary to revise the laws forcing magistrates to hand down mandatory minimum sentences, the Christie administration introduced the Abolition of Mandatory Minimum Sentences Bill, repealing the controversial mandatory minimum sentences.

Yesterday, Hall demanded that National Security Minister Marvin Dames step out of the office and into the field to declare a war on guns.

“The criminals do not take notice of statistics nor your pronouncements,” Hall said.

“What the criminals take note of is how are they going to face the consequences of their illegal actions, and until the government along with the community sends a strong message to criminal-minded people in our country, we will have these kinds of acts.

“We keep playing with these things. And all I’m saying is we need to become more draconian and send strong messages to the criminal-minded.”

In January, police reported that crime overall dropped eight per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year, and murders dropped 24 per cent year-on-year — from 112 in 2017 to 91 in 2018, the lowest on record since 85 in 2009.

Profiling

Hall also implored Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell to engage psychology researchers to conduct a nationwide study to identify at-risk individuals that are likely to commit crime.

“I’m calling on Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell to lead in the analysis of these young persons who grow up in crime areas,” he said.

“How is it that members of the white community do not behave this way?

“Is it their socialization process?

“Is it so different from ours?

“Do they not get angry? Do they not fall out? Why is it not so?”