Crime fighting app to be launched by end of the week, Marco Alert under testing
Despite a bloody weekend in the capital and 11 murders in less than two weeks, National Security Minister Marvin Dames insisted yesterday that crime is down and the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) is “doing its best” to combat the latest homicide trend.
At a press conference on Sunday, Dames said, the police force is making consistent inroads in reducing crime. He also said in response to the latest homicides that there will be an increased police presence in crime hotspots.
His comments came after three men were gunned down in three separate incidents in New Providence over the weekend, taking the country’s murder count to 51 for the year.
“I met with the commissioner of police and his senior command and commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and his senior command to address the recent increase in homicides and to get their strategic input moving forward,” Dames said.
“I am pleased and confident that the strategies articulated will address the current problems we face and there will be no letup. The new strategy calls for the blanketing of New Providence, which is increasing visibility, intensifying efforts against prolific offenders and continuing an all-out presence of hot spot areas with the intent to dismantle gangs and drug operations in particular.
“An investigative and intelligence component to bring closure to these most recent matters is also a part of the overall strategy. I am pleased to say that the police have made a tremendous amount of inroads in these most recent matters and will continue to work to bring them all to closure.”
Dames also said the RBPF will be restructured to be more effective in the fight against crime.
“The Royal Bahamas Police Force, which is the first line of defense in the detection, deterrence, and prevention of crime and violence, is currently undergoing organisational structural changes and we should begin to see the positive impact, very soon,” he said.
“The recently published Manpower Audit noted that training of officers is too basic and does not meet 21st century standards in order to tackle crime trends in the country. According to the 2011 study by Bradford, entitled ‘Police Numbers and Crime Rates: A Rapid Evidence Review’, for every 100 officers recruited and deployed, there should be a three percent decrease in crime statistics. Beginning with the recruitment of 105 recruits entering the force, we will begin to employ some of the organisational strategies to remedy this vexing problem.”
He also sent a stern warning to parents.
“We cannot have a society where young men are roaming our streets and taking out lives of hard working Bahamians. This will not be tolerated. We will use every tool at our disposable under the law of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, to ensure that every hardworking and law-abiding Bahamian is kept safe,” he said.
“If you choose to take on law enforcement with a firearm, then there are consequences. The police, without question, will abide by the law but, one thing the police will not allow is for innocent people to fall victim at the hands of gun-toting thugs.”
Dames said police will launch an app at the end of the week to assist in crime efforts, as well as run a test the Marco alert system.