Armed robberies continue to plague NP
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — To combat increased criminal activity that is common during the Yuletide season, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said yesterday he has assembled a special operations team comprised of police and defense force officers to ensure the populous remains safe.
“This operation team that is there will get them (criminals),” Ferguson said at Government House.
“Those of you in the press who see the [number] of persons being put before the courts for firearms tells you something. There are lots of firearms on the streets brought here by Bahamians. You need not be amazed and try to duck around that. Bahamians are responsible for the influx of firearms. There are various ways they have been bringing them in and we have been arresting them. We will continue to do so to make sure that we are able to keep The Bahamas safe.”
Crime reports in recent months have been inundated with armed robberies, the majority of which have involved men or businesses in New Providence.
Authorities and government officials have acknowledged spikes in armed robberies, but maintained that there has not been an increase in this category of crime, though data has not been presented to validate that statement.
Murders have also surpassed last year’s total count of 91 by one murder.
Yesterday, the commissioner said his policing strategies have been reworked to provide maximum coverage and presence throughout the season.
“As the commissioner I am very pleased and I can say that I know the Bahamian people, particularly those in New Providence are seeing the men and women, law enforcement, on the streets, and they are doing a tremendous job,” Ferguson said.
“The only thing I ask is that the Bahamian people encourage the officers. Do not try to break the officers down; whether it is by words and making comments that would tend to try to discourage the officers. You should always be about building and that’s my advice for the Bahamian people.
“Are there going to be inconveniences sometimes, yes. Inconveniences will have to come in order for you to achieve what is best, and what is best for those law-abiding citizens is being able to move about, and being able to make sure that criminals are not pulling guns on them and robbing them.”
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames told Eyewitness News Online last week that the police force had some “tough months during 2019”, including September in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
However, he expressed confidence that moving into 2020, particularly with the additional resources coming on stream such as drones, expanded closed-circuit television surveillance and body cameras, “2020 should be a better year”.