NASSAU, The Bahamas – Calling 2015 a ‘very difficult’ year as it relates to crime, Commission of Police, Ellison Greenslade reconfirmed the Police Force’s commitment to reduce the incidences of crime in the country. During a ‘Meet the Press’ forum held on Wednesday, February 10 at The Paul Farquharson Centre at Police Headquarters on East Street, Commissioner Greenslade discussed the crime statistics for the year 2015 and laid out the Policing Plan for 2016.
During the Press Conference Commissioner Greenslade recognized the outstanding contributions of the employees of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in 2015. He said that despite some challenges that they experienced last year in seeing several members of the force being prosecuted by the courts, the majority of officers are committed to serving the citizens of the country to the best of their ability.
The Commissioner stated: “2015 was a very difficult year fraught with crime challenges. The country saw an unprecedented level of murders, which peaked at 146. Closely aligned with this high number of murders were frequent reports of shootings, which resulted in serious harm to persons. In many of these cases, victims were left with debilitating injuries that will last their entire lifetime. Therefore, we targeted and arrested a significant number of persons in possession of illegal weapons and ammunition and we charged them before the courts.”
He said that in addition to responding to criminal complaints in 2015, police also responded to a wide variety of calls for service from members of the public. He pointed out, however, that the despite the challenges, serious crimes had decreased by 4% overall last year. This decrease he attributed to a decrease in attempted murder (down by 9%), followed by robbery and attempted robbery (which posted decreases of 43% and 61% respectively).
“Notwithstanding the overall decrease (4%) in serious crimes against the person in 2015, the record number of 146 murders eclipsed the positive contributions made by officers who worked very hard to prevent the escalation of serious crimes against the person and crimes in general.”
He said that the policing plan for 2015 delivered ‘exceptionally good’ results and that many of the initiatives launched in 2015 are continuing to produce good results. Moving forward, the Policing Plan for 2016 will retain many of the strategic objectives and allied actions of last year’s plan.
The policing priorities will feature several aspects inclusive of: the prevention and detection of crime, which will focus on community involvement and public-private partnerships; the strengthening of the Central Detective Unit; and further development of the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) and the Firearms Tracing and Investigation Unit (FTIU).
The policing plan will also focus on reducing the fear of crime by the public by providing more visibility of patrol officers, both on foot patrol and mobile.
There will also be more involvement of young people as the police reach out the youths of the nation to assist in the prevention and reduction of crime.
Even more emphasis will be placed on the safety and protection of the country’s tourism industry and the general safety and security of the general public.
Finally, there will be great emphasis placed on the efficient management of resources to ensure that there is minimal wastage and doubling of efforts.