Police on Grand Bahama have denied an uptick in serious crime, namely murders, despite the most recent incident over the Easter holiday weekend.
Northern District Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Samuel Butler told Eyewitness News Wednesday, that there isn’t sufficient evidence to reveal an increase in murder on the island.
ACP Butler’s comments came on the heels of a double killing on the Easter Monday holiday.
A birthday celebration on Xanadu Beach turned deadly when a brawl ended in the death of two people.
One of the victims was fatally shot while the other was stabbed to death.
But as alarming as the incident may seem for the island, ACP Butler clarified how the most recent killings differ from the three murders recorded in January.
“We acknowledge that we had four losses of life that we have classified as murders so far for the year,” explained ACP Butler.
“We know that we had three at the very beginning of the year and the fourth is a part of the incident that occurred late Easter Monday afternoon. In that particular incident we had a murder and we are still investigating the circumstances surrounding what led to the loss of life for the second individual in that incident.
“The second death in that incident is listed as a homicide because we are still in our preliminary review of that matter. It is listed as a homicide that is likely to be considered a self-defense situation. But, we are still actively doing our investigations on that.”
ACP Butler was cautious to compare the first quarter of last year to this year.
“We have to look at each incident on its own merit,” he advised.
“The instances earlier in the year, those can be described as criminal, where individuals were actually targeted. Those three are murders. We have deduced that there was a deliberate act where persons calculated their actions.
“But, this incident over the holiday weekend, where persons seemed to have been drinking and got into some unfortunate activity, is something that arose out of something very trivial. It was not an incident of a targeted crime by a criminal. These types of incidents are also a concern for us, but we cannot directly link them to serious crimes and suggest that there is an uptick in crime on the island.”
ACP Butler encouraged Bahamians to employ better conflict resolution methods.
“We strongly appeal to the public to exercise better conflict resolution mechanisms and reach out to the police department and other community and civic leaders for help. If you have a conflict, it is better to walk away. The results would be better than having an argument escalate to the unfortunate loss of life.”