DPM says despite downward trend, crime levels are “unacceptable”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Following a weekend which saw three killings, two stabbings, and seven armed robberies, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday that despite concerns by some Bahamians about the violent incidents over the holiday weekend, crime in The Bahamas is under control.
“Listen, this is the world that we’re living in,” Dames told the media outside the Churchill Building.
“You can’t find any country that can boast about having a zero murder rate. And so, these are the challenges we will have to deal with from time to time.
“And we clearly understand that, but I have every confidence that the police are on top of things and clearly the numbers will reflect that.”
A man was shot and killed on Bahama Avenue, off Blue Hill Road, earlier yesterday morning
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday, a man sitting outside his home on Lucky Heart Corner, off East Street, was shot dead.
Just hours earlier, a man standing outside a home on Roland Street, Ridgeland park was shot multiple times.
The incident took place around 4 a.m.
The victim was identified by relatives as Cabrio Wells, the younger brother of Minister of Transport and Local Government Renward Wells.
Speaking to reporters, Dames said there have been tremendous hulls in crime and months were murders were low.
In a separate interview outside Cabinet, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said despite the crime statistics the crime problem in The Bahamas remains “unacceptable”.
He said one murder is one too many.
Crime statistics for the first half of the year, reflect a 17 percent decrease in crime overall compared to the same period last year.
Murders period-over-period were also down 17 percent between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.
Alleged police brutality
There was also public outcry over the weekend following allegations by two women that police beat them while in Exuma during a traffic stop.
The alleged incident has raised concerns over the accountability of police officers.
The minister said yesterday that an investigation had been launched into the alleged incident.
He maintained that officers will always be held responsible for their actions.
“When police officers or law enforcement officers do wrong and the evidence is there to show [that], then those persons are dealt with; Whether it’s before the courts or its dealt with internally,” Dames said.
The police force was expected to acquire body cameras earlier this year, a measure the government has said will improve the accountability of the force, and further protect officers and residents.
Asked about the acquisition of body cameras, the minister said the process was on schedule.
“Cabinet would have approved the body cams,” he said.
“We have funding for the body cams.
“We are in the process of finalizing the contracts between the parties.”