PM: We will get handle on increased armed robberies

PM: We will get handle on increased armed robberies
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

Minnis says his constituency of Killarney affected by increase incidents

SANDY POINT, ABACO — Acknowledging the recent increase in armed robberies and home invasions, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday declared that the government will “get a handle of it and we will control it”.

Minnis was responding to questions from reporters on the recent spate of armed robberies and home invasions – two of which involved women being sexually assaulted.

The prime minister said he has spoken with the relevant authorities, including Minister of National Security Marvin Dames about the need for increased manpower and resources.

“We have heard of and we recognize there is an increase in armed robbery, even in my own constituency within the Westridge areas and other areas within Killarney constituency, our residents have been complaining,” Minnis said.

“I have spoken with both the minister of national security and the commissioner of police, and all the relevant authorities and they will beef up the manpower and beef up security — not only within my constituency, but within the entire Bahamas to ensure the safety of Bahamians.

“So, we are going to put more manpower and what relevant material and equipment are necessary to decrease this. We will get a handle of it and we will control it.”

The increased spate of armed robberies dates back to November 2019.

At the time, authorities were tight-lipped on the matter.

Last December, Bahamas Against Crime Executive Director Reverend Dr CB Moss decried the trend of armed robberies plaguing New Providence and what he called the deafening silence from authorities. 

There were at least 18 armed robberies between October 25 and November 10 — a 16-day period.

In the last few weeks, two women have been sexually assaulted during separate home invasions robberies — one on January 14 on Marshall Road and another on February 4 in Coral Harbour.

Armed robberies continue to inundate crime reports.

Last November, the United States Department of State warned its citizens traveling to The Bahamas to exercise “increased caution” as violent crime, such as “burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assault, occurs even during the day in tourist areas”.

Last year, incidents of rape dropped by 33 percent year-on-year — from 55 incidents in 2018 to 37 in 2019.

Unlawful sexual intercourse also declined by 14 percent — from 113 to 97.

Armed robbery; however, increased 12 percent — from 474 matters in 2018 to 531 matters in 2019.