NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Stapledon Gardens Neighborhood Crime Watch Association has discovered that a small group of perpetrators who reside within the community has been the cause of multiple criminal incidents.
The association hosted a press conference to provide an update on its efforts to curb crime in the area and to announce its Shaunae Miller-Uibo Fun Run Walk and Wellness Day in honor of the Olympian, to be held on March 26.
[pullquote]We have deduced that they are career criminals who spend long days and nights at various locations in Stapledon, watching and lurking on unsuspecting victims.[/pullquote]
According to incidents reported by residents in 2021, there were approximately four armed robberies, 27 cases of vehicular crimes, 14 cases of stealing from residents’ exterior property, 11 incidents of domestic violence and one attempted kidnapping.
Laquelle Johnson, president of the association, explained that the attempted kidnapping involved a young woman believed to be in her early 20s, who was walking home when a man in a vehicle stopped beside her and attempted to pull her inside.
Johnson said the woman was able to get away and run home, which was nearby, where she told her stepfather, who reported the matter to the neighborhood crime watch and the police.
The association’s data revealed that the most active months for crime in 2021 were March and May, compared to previous years where more crime occurred in August.
The most prevalent hotspot streets, based on the association’s data, were McKinney Avenue, Christie Avenue, Blenheim Road and Bethel Avenue.
The area also saw three new hotpot streets over the past year, including Albatross Road, Swordfish Road and Hampden Road, where more serious gun-related offenses, such as armed robbery, have been reported.
The neighborhood crime watch commended Stapledon residents for reporting 65 incidences of suspicious activities.
Trends from those reports revealed that within a day or two of the activity, there was an incident of crime near the vicinity.
The trends further showed that the small group of perpetrators likely reside in the community, most likely on or near hotspot streets.
The data has been passed onto the police.
One of the association’s board members said: “We have deduced that they are career criminals who spend long days and nights at various locations in Stapledon, watching and lurking on unsuspecting victims.
“We suspect that there are male and female lookouts for these crimes in our area.
“We do know that some of these incidences are crimes of opportunity, but those that were done very quietly, we know were carefully orchestrated by a ring of thieves.”
Among the strategies the neighborhood crime watch has launched are a website where residents can file a report; a WhatsApp chat and Facebook page to raise awareness; a protocol procedure with police and the association to follow-up on reports; multiple CCTV cameras; a patrol car; and partnerships with local business, schools and churches in the community, as well as others.
A council spokesperson said: “Although crime is prevalent almost everywhere in The Bahamas and indeed in the world, here in our community, we watch, record, erected surveillance cameras throughout the community and on…residents’ property.
“We have concerned residents watching every move, every suspicious vehicle, scoping unfamiliar or strange faces.”