NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Calling 2018 a historic year for law enforcement agencies in the country, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday that he has never seen an organization effect such a turnaround in crime in such a short period of time.
He made the statement at the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s annual church service at Annex Baptist Cathedral on Wulff and Pinedale Roads.
“This year, 2018, was a truly historic one for the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.
“In all my life, I have never seen an organization make such a dramatic turnaround in such a short period of time.”
There were 90 murders in 2018, compared to the 122 the previous year.
This represents a decrease of 26 per cent year-on-year.
It was also the lowest murder count since the 85 recorded in 2009.
Dames attributed the decrease in part to the hard work of police officers and the recommencing of numerous initiatives, which the minister said has resulted in a more “motivated, more inspired and more enthused” police force.
“As a result of this new level of motivation and performance, 283 firearms and 6,250 rounds of ammunition were taken off our streets,” Dames said to applause.
“Because of this higher level of productivity, over 10,292 pounds of marijuana and 184 pounds of cocaine were seized off of the streets of The Bahamas [last] year.
“Because of this increased level of professionalism, a total of 1,213 law enforcement officers and civilians have been trained.
“And most notably, because of a new refocused strategy, murders have dropped by some 25 per cent over the previous year — a figure that has not been seen in about a decade.”
While applauding the work of officers on the frontlines, and senior executive management, Dames said the nation is still faced with an unacceptable level of crime and fear of crime.
Dames’ tone on the downward trend of crime and the fear of crime has been more cautious than Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who declared last month that Bahamians are no longer Yesterday, Dames said, “Despite the many accomplishments, however, our nation is still faced with an unacceptable level of crime and fear of crime.
“Our government understands that we cannot simply ‘arrest’ our way of this issue.
“So since coming to office almost two years ago, we have attacked crime from its roots by making criminal justice improvements, increased educational achievement, improving social justice, reintegrating offenders and creating economic empowerment initiatives.
fearful of crime.
He said the government will continue to tackle the root causes of criminality and provide the police force with all the resources it needs to ramp up the fight against crime this year and beyond.
He announced a $3.4 million investment in a new fleet of police vehicles within the first quarter of 2019.
Prior to yesterday’s church service, the RBPF honoured its officers killed in the line of duty during a heartfelt memorial service at police headquarters.
Among the fallen officers remembered during the annual garden service, was aide de camp to Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, Inspector Carlis Blatch who was murdered last September.
The killing sent shockwaves throughout the nation.
Yesterday, Dames called the shooting a cowardly act of violence.
He thanked the families of each fallen officer for their loved ones “unselfish service” to the nation.