NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said while there has been commendable progress made in the fight against crime in the last couple of years, the recent spate of murders and other violent crimes evidence that there is “no short-term fix” for a “manifestation of decades of neglect”.
Up to January 8, 11 people had been killed in just 10 days.
“You’re going to have occasions like this when you have a spike,” Dames said.
“I commend the police and the other law enforcement agencies for all the work they would have done during 2020. We had [a] double-digit decrease in homicides, I think it as more than 22 percent.
“Armed robberies were around [a] 41 percent, 42 percent decrease.
“The commissioner will be sharing some more of the statistical breakdown during his, I believe he has a briefing sometime next week.
“After having said that, I continue to say we are not there yet.
“As a government, we would have taken a multi-pronged approach to this issue of crime.
“We are working with other agencies to assist.
“We’re working with other agencies and other initiatives and we understand that this is, there are no short-term fixes to the problems that we face.
“What you see throughout our communities — as I continue to say — is a manifestation of decades of neglect. We ain’ gone solve it overnight.”
According to an excerpt from the crime statistics for 2020, which Dames announced this week, murders were down 22 percent last year, compared to the year prior — 74 compared to 95 — the lowest in 15 years.
Following a double murder of two men on Pitt Road, Assistant Commissioner of Police Solomon Cash said police suspected one of the victims was involved or associated with a gang, though he did not provide specifics.
There has been growing concern over gang and domestic violence, the latter of which has been attributed to several recent murders.
Dames also said domestic violence must be addressed.
According to the minister, the issue will be one of the focuses of the National Neighbourhood Watch Council this year.
As part of this, police and council members will assist and work with families to reduce incidents.
He said police will continue to adjust their strategies in response to crime, which evolves from period to period.