Minister deferred questions on recent trend to COP
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Against Crime Executive Director Reverend Dr CB Moss has decried the spate of armed robberies plaguing New Providence in recent months and what he called the deafening silence from authorities and the government on the matter.
“Sometime ago we tried to bring that to the attention of the public and we view the increase in serious crimes — armed robberies and even homicides — as a sign that things are deteriorating and contributing to that is of course an instability that exists in the atmosphere almost as a result of Dorian; as a result of the opportunities that exists,” Moss told Eyewitness News Online.
“The police presence is perhaps reduced as many of them have been deployed to Abaco and that accounts for some of it.
Moss said: “Also, the approaching Christmas season: It’s a time when criminals hit soft targets, people shopping and people moving about from the parking lot to their homes and stores and the increasing disregard for law and order.”
There were at least 18 incidents between October 25 and November 10.
Yesterday, police reported that two men exited a gray Nissan Cube and robbed a man, who was walking on West Bay Street near Saunders Beach around 3 a.m., of cash and a cell phone before getting back into their vehicle and driving away.
An hour later, two gunmen entered a fast food restaurant on Carmichael Rod, held employees at gunpoint and demanded cash. It was unclear how much cash the assailants got away with.
The men sped away in a Toyota Passo, police said.
Police said officers of the southwestern division responding to the incident intercepted a gray Toyota Passo on Harry Allen Drive. The officer managed to arrest one man, but the other evaded police capture on foot.
A pistol and small box containing an undisclosed amount of cash was recovered from the vehicle, police said.
Police also reported that its operation ‘Silent Night’ led to the arrests of three people for crimes including armed robbery and possession of drugs with intent to supply; and an outstanding warrant.
Moss opined the citizenry is not sufficiently sensitized and mobilized to assist in the prevention and reduction of crime, which he said is not strictly a police function.
However, Moss said law enforcement agencies have bought into a narrative that they are solely responsible for crime.
He said: “The evidence of that is when crime is trending downward you hear the police: ‘due to efficient police work and the strategies of the commissioner crime is trending downward’, but when it is going in the other direction you hear nothing from the police, like now. If they take the credit entirely when things are going in the right direction, then they sort of feel like they have to take the blame and one way of
handling the blame is to say nothing and not necessarily give the kind of regular
When asked about the recent trend in armed robberies last week, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson would contact Eyewitness News Online to speak on the matter.
However, that did not happen.
Meanwhile, Moss called for a greater incorporation of the public in the police force’s crime fighting strategies, especially in communities hard hit by crime, and noted that crime watch groups and committees recently established have been “falling down”.
“Citizens needs to be incorporated into the planning of strategies to address crime,” he said.
“I will be saying this until someone proves me wrong or I die. We have not succeeded in engaging the ordinary people and on the other hand the criminals are succeeding in securing the support — if not the active support, but the passive support — of these same residents by for example assisting them with funds, gifts for the children and so forth…”