Dames: Marco Alert tested, now proposal will be presented to Cabinet
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Police in the capital are searching for a male who allegedly abducted a six-year-old girl on Sunday.
According to police reports, shortly after 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, a man entered a home off Wilton Street and abducted the child.
Police said in less than an hour; the child was discovered walking in the area of Woodlawn Gardens by a passerby and taken to the Wulff Road Police Station.
Police reported yesterday that a male is presently in custody and is assisting them with this matter, and investigations will continue.
This latest incident comes on the heels of the Feb. 16, 2019, alleged abduction of three-year-old Shavard Bain.
Bain was abducted while he was riding his bicycle in the area of South Beach Estates.
Bain, however, was dropped off the following day on Feb. 17 at a laundromat on Joe Farrington Road. Police reported that Bain had no apparent injuries, was frightened and would be transported to hospital for an examination.
The toddler’s parents recalled that Shavard Bain was riding his bicycle around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 when a silver car pulled up with two women inside.
The women allegedly got out of the vehicle and pushed little Shavard Bain into the car before speeding off.
To date, no arrests were made in connection with this matter.
Last July, a revamped MARCO alert system was launched to streamline the activation of urgent bulletins in serious child abduction cases.
The pilot program was expected to send mass notifications among authorities, social media groups, as well as neighbourhood watch groups relating to missing children.
It was expected to mimic the AMBER alert system in the United States.
However, in order to receive these alerts, members of the public had to sign up.
The MARCO alert system was created in response to the kidnapping and death of 11-year-old Columbus primary School student Marco Archer back in 2011.
Last Thursday, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames told the media that his ministry has concluded its testing of the Marco Alert System, to ensure that they address issues with the system itself.
“Now that we have completed that phase and we have been working with the company to make the necessary corrections and adjustments, we are now at the phase now where they are putting together a proposal,” Dames said.
“So that proposal is just about prepared. I will be submitting that to cabinet very shortly for approval and we hope, in the coming months, that that will become a reality. It’s the process.
“Remember we had to run our tests. We can’t just go out and acquire something without testing it and ensuring that it meets the needs of what is we are seeking to do.”
Also giving an update last week on the government’s proposed plans to establish a sexual offenders register, Dames said a Cabinet Paper was also recently completed with amendments.
“We had to make some changes as well to the regulations… The Cabinet paper is completed and we hope to be submitting that [to Cabinet],” Dames said.
“We at the Ministry of National Security have been working closely with the office of the Attorney General on this and so we should have that Cabinet Paper to Cabinet in a few weeks, so we are well ahead on all of this.
“This is something that we take very seriously and we are determined to get it right, and so we are in the business of working.”