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  • MINISTER DAMES REPORTS ON POLICE

    During his Contribution on the 2017/2018 Budget Communication in the House of Assembly on June 12, 2017 Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said that, consistent with his Government’s policy regarding increased visibility, policing of hotspots, targeting of prolific offenders and zero tolerance -- on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, he visited Police Headquarters and met with the Commissioner of Police and his senior crime team to review short-term strategies to address "the immediate crime problem we face throughout our county today." "The reason for this meeting was to get a clear understanding from the Royal Bahamas Police Force as to how they intend to mitigate the high incidence of violent crime in New Providence," Minister Dames explained. "As a result, I was informed that with immediate effect, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) will introduce a strategy-driven patrol initiative, where it will utilize existing and new technology to identify crime trends and shifting patterns on a sustained basis to direct its patrols."

    Minister Dames noted that it means however, that the success or failure of such strategy will fall within the scope of the RBPF. "'It is the People’s Time' and the people are no longer interested in the blame game," he said. "All they are interested in is that those who are being paid to fix the crime problem, fix it."

    Minister Dames said that his Government is fully aware that it will take more than just the police for us to significantly reduce crime levels in the country. However, his Government is cognizant of the fact that the police is that agency of government that stands on the front line, and that with improved strategies and better use of resources, they can make "tremendous inroads." He noted that he continues to receive complaints from members of the public that whenever they call a police station for police service, they are oftentimes told that either there is no vehicle or that there are not sufficient officers in the station to respond to their complaint."Our government has indicated that it will undertake a comprehensive manpower audit to determine the most effective establishment of the Royal Bahamas Police Force," he said. "We need to determine, as a matter of urgency, what is required in the way of human resources to effectively operate a police station in the Commonwealth in The Bahamas. "At present, we are unable to say what the current numbers of the Force should be, from an evidence-based position," he added. "If we are going to deliver professional and uninterrupted policing services throughout our nation, we must first determine 1) whether we have the adequate numbers of officers to provide the service to our customers; and 2) if yes, then where are they and are they being utilized to perform the tasks that they have been mandated to perform."

    Minister Dames said that his Ministry is going to see to it that the nation's law enforcement officers are performing law enforcement duties. "To this end, we will explore civilianizing those areas of the Force that do not require police officers, as most modern police forces around the world have been doing for many years," he said. "This is also what an FNM Government introduced back in 2000. We will do the same for other areas of law enforcement, as well."

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