Dames: Crime suppression to improve in 2020

Dames: Crime suppression to improve in 2020
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Minister satisfied police strategies have continued to yield results

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While acknowledging there have been spikes in certain categories of crimes in recent months, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday he is satisfied the police force’s strategies and operations will continue to suppress crime.

Dames noted police have had a a “few tough months” but projected a continued reduction in 2020.

He spoke with Eyewitness News Online on the sidelines of a luncheon hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister for public officers and other personnel who responded during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian — a record Category 5 storm that decimated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

“Unfortunately, they had a few tough months during 2019 — I believe September — around the time of Dorian was a very tough month for police,” the minister told Eyewitness New Online.

“They had an increased number of murders.

“We’ll have to certainly learn from that experience as we move into 2020 and I will tell you based on what we’ve been doing and what we now know, 2020 should be a better year.

“The last two years have proven that there is a significant amount of work left to do and it’s a clear indication that as we have been pushing out there, it takes the efforts of all us, and more than just the police. The police are doing their part.”

There have been 92 murders for the year so far.

This is one more murder that the 91 murders for all of 2018.

Crime reports since early October have been inundated with armed robberies.

There were at least 13 armed robberies in a two week span, nearly one armed robbery every day.

In the majority of incidents either men or businesses were targeted.

Despite the recent spate of armed robberies, authorities have said the category of crime has not increased over last year’s figures.

Yesterday, Dames said over the last six weeks, the commissioner of police has implemented his plan for the Yuletide season, which the minister said has yielded results.

“Over the last month and a half the police have increased their visibility; they have increased their presence on the streets, in communities, as well as in the business sectors of New Providence,” Dames said.

“That no doubt is contributing to the somewhat decrease in numbers over that period — the last six weeks or so. I believe last month we would have had about four homicides compared to the previous months, which were much higher than that, so it’s clear that their holiday strategy that they would have rolled out six to eight weeks ago is currently working.

“Yes, there will still be opportunity for those who are hellbent on committing crime, but the police to a large extent have decreased the number of opportunities based on their holiday strategies.

“We’ll continue to observe and see what they’re doing for the remainder of the year, but I am confident based on my communications with the commissioner of police and his executive team that they are doing all they possibly can to ensure that Bahamians and visitors alike are safe during the holiday season.”

It remains to be seen whether law enforcement has made inroads with violent crime as crime statistics have not been released since July.

At the time, crime overall was down 17 percent.