900 RBPF and RBDF officers deployed to GB and Abaco after storm
NASSAU, BAHAMAS —Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said yesterday that he will make “no excuses” as the organization combats an escalation of criminality in New Providence.
As of Monday, murders had increased 10 percent over last year — the first increase recorded for the year following a sustained reduction since 2018.
Nine hundred Royal Bahamas Police Force and Defence Force officers have been deployed to Grand Bahama and Abaco in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian to ensure security and stability of residents and relief workers.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Online, Ferguson was asked whether the deployment of the contingent of police officers to the affected islands of the northwest has strained resources of created a resource challenge in New Providence.
“I am not going to try and make — to use that – to make any excuse,” Ferguson said.
“I would say policing is a public partnership. Every single individual is a police officer in his or her community. Every single person ought to be concerned about illegal activities in his or her community and they are the people that we have to continue to talk to and ask them to provide law enforcement with the information, so law enforcement can tackle those individuals in those communities.
Ferguson said: “The police are responsible for the entire Bahamas and we will continue to do what we are mandated to do. So, we are basically everywhere in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and we will continue to being committed to doing that.”
The commissioner declined comment on whether a new shift system would be implemented in New Providence given the number of officers redeployed to the northwest.
“I am not going to get into that conversation,” Ferguson said.
“I will say again, they are thousands of Bahamians who live in this Commonwealth of The Bahamas. They are partners to the police and they must understand that; they play a critical role in policing the community.”
There have been 13 murders in the last two weeks.
Historically, there has been increases in crime in the months leading up the holiday season.
“Officers are very visible,” Ferguson continued.
“They are working extremely hard. We are strategizing every day. As we see things shifts, we are actually shifting in [response] to make sure that we keep the Bahamian public safe; for people to move about and we continue to do that.”
The commissioner stressed policing is a public partnership, adding police could not resolve crime ills alone.
“If the public and the police are working together then you see a reduction,” Ferguson said. “There is no way that somebody could steal a vehicle and move from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ without someone knowing what is going to happen. Those are the people we are appealing to let us know what happened, so we can prevent those things. The police cannot be everywhere at one time, so that is why the police and the public have to work together.”
When asked whether he is confident about a reversal of the recent trend a before the end of the year, Ferguson said “all things are possible”.