The Bastardizing FNM Gov’t. Should Put a Seatbelt on Crime

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Delroy Medows

By Delroy Meadows
January 10, 2011

A plan of action needs to take place this year to abort the level of crime in our nation. It is a disgrace that the Government of the Bahamas have continued to allow criminals ransack and corrupt the quality of living of Bahamians.  It is awful that good, hardworking people have to be subject to this level of fear and confusion placed upon them by wicked people who should have no place to sleep among us.

The Spirit of peace and love that sits at the core of those of us who share the great vision of a prosperous future for our Bahamas should be allowed free reign in this land. It should be allowed to grow and spread among us without any hindrance or threat from those who are not likeminded.  I believe that the aggressive support of our leaders is key to the very existence and development this vision.  Peace and security within this nation should be the primary tool that we use to measure the ability of our leaders to Govern— not the status of the economy.  I would prefer to be broke and unemployed living in the warmth of safety than to be wealthiest of men living in the coldness of fear.

Our view of criminals needs to be changed. It is a mistake to judge softly those who continue to commit acts of violence against us and our neighbors. Those who continue to sell drugs and guns on our streets need to be dealt with harshly, not only by the courts but by each and every one of us who has the power within the law to do so.

Wasting Money

Funds that should have been allocated to assist Bahamians in other areas such as Social Service (which is currently in a depressed state due to the economic climate) are being funneled by the Government to increase the population of an already oversized Police Force.

Our border security needs more funding than any other area to protect our islands from a real and impending mass exodus from Haiti. Bahamians now facing foreclosure from the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation needs assistance from the Government to keep their families off the streets. Yet the Government chooses to pump more funds into a police force that has already proven that they are quite capable intellectually and equipped physically to handle the investigating and apprehension of criminals in our society.  Why are we continuing on with this waste when the obvious problem has already been identified?

The Obvious Problem

First of all: The current status of the Royal Bahamas Police Force is not the problem.

The enforcement of our laws and the disheveled condition of our judicial system has already been confirmed to be the primary cause of repetitive criminal activity.

It is not right for the Government to use the current level of crime as justification to spend public money on the hiring of more police officers, the purchasing of new police vehicles and all the extra technology when it is not needed. This is a counterproductive form of governing and a waste of our financial assets.

When we announce to criminals that we have to do all of this to fight them it creates Goliath mentality of lawbreakers and weak impression of law enforcement.

Our culture of respect for the authority of our police officers should be such that an officer, whether he be on feet armed with just a baton or on a bike with nothing more than a flashlight, he or she should in confidence carry the full influence of the law when they are seen by those who would even dream of breaking it.

The peace of our nation is broken because of the weak link of our courts and it is this flaw which continues to hold our citizens hostage. In essence the police are sweeping the dirt outside and the courts are blowing it back in again.  The Government of the Bahamas in all its authority should act swiftly to correct those judicial policies that continue to place the public at risk from repeat offenders. Amendments to the Bail Act with provisions that lean more in favor of victims rather than perpetrators should be done without further delay.

The penalties for possession of illegal firearms need to be increased dramatically to send a strong message to those who carry them. I am of the opinion that persons who carry illegal firearms should be treated in the same manner by the courts as those who are charged with the intent to commit murder. Likewise those who profit in the trafficking and sale of illegal firearms should share the same fate as those who commit murder with those weapons.

Deterring Crime

The methods of deterring crime should be the primary objective of the Government and not the reason as to why persons commit crime. It has been an excuse for many persons and a scapegoat for the Prime Minister to point out that those persons who commit murders in most cases are known to each other or that crimes of passion cannot be prevented by law enforcement. This is a lie!

If we are to believe this then we must also believe that the law useless or impractical and only subject to a few who would have the liberty of choosing whether or not to obey it. Would not this view of obedience to the law as being optional cause more to commit crimes?

The influence brought on by harsh penalties and surety of swift justice for breaking the law can be the sole deterrent of crime within our country.

We have seen recently the level of influence that the enforcement of the seat belt law has had on our streets in just a short space of time. Today almost everyone can be seen wearing a seatbelt which in contrast is a drastic change from the status quo just some months earlier. I have even seen members of the public stick reminders on their dashboards to wear seatbelt when they enter their vehicles.

The reason behind this level of obedience can only be attributed to the harsh penalties that are attached to offending this law and its strong enforcement by the police. If we can enforce one law then we can enforce all. The minds of our people are now pricked to buckle up the minute that they sit in their vehicles. Those who accompany them are also encouraged by the driver to do the same because of the increase penalty that they themselves would receive for having others break the law in their presence where he or she has authority to prevent it.

One of the main reasons crimes of passion are committed in this country is due to the fact that there are no awareness being made of the penalty one would surely face if the act is committed. Another reason is that the penalties for such crimes are not sufficient to trigger the cooling down of a mind that is enraged in anger. Our problem therefore is that there exists in our society no influence greater than a man’s own emotional drive to carry out his desire as he sees fit.

There also exists no enforcement of public responsibility laws in regards to crimes committed in the presence of others where one would have the authority to prevent or disclose. Most murders that are domestic in nature were preceded by acts of violence by offenders against their victims. It has been found that those acts leading up to murder were known by persons other than the offender and the victim but nothing was reported.

The penalties for those onlookers in such cases need to be imposed likewise if we are to see any form of collaborative effort against crime among our citizens. We all bear the brunt of crime in this country so likewise we should all bear the responsibility by law to prevent it where possible.

It is my hope that we view the recent enforcement of the seatbelt law and its success as a sign that “it can be done” and use it as a prototype to influence positive change in other areas of our society.

  • Very good responce Mr. Brown…I don’t know why every time someone comes up with a good solution for government to solve this crisis we are living in they feel it is political. Just for you information Gut Fawkes I am neither PLP or FNM, I’m a Bahamian who is concern about what is going on in this country.

    • While you may not be either PLP or FNM,lets try to disect the content of this article.
      1. The writer says that the police are not the problem and further spending on the police should be reduce or eliminated. With this in mind, you try calling any station for help in the middle of the night and see how long it takes to obtain assitance, that is if they have cars at the station that night.

      2. The writer says the courts are the problem, indicating that the police sweep the dirt out the door and the courts sweep the trash right back in. The role of the court is to carry out the laws on the books, therefore if the laws are amended to limit technicalities that allow criminals to escape justice this can be resolved. If this is the case, then the judges are not the problem, the politicals are the problem.

      3. The writer indicates that harsher penalties for criminals will deter other potential criminals and that people will not commit crimes of passion when the know the consequences of their actions. However, the laws in the Bahamas is quite clear, the penalty for murder is death. There has not been a hanging in the Bahamas since the previous FNM administration. The writer fails to indicate his stance on state executions. Onto crimes of passion, as far as I am aware crimes of passion usually occur during heated or passsionate exchanges or confrontations in which one person reacts violently. I would like to see either government eliminate these crimes.

  • i have a lawyer friend who 3 years ago told me he was happy when the crime rate goes up….he makes more money….Good for him, he later just last year was a victim of abuse by a client who is a crimmnal
    sleep with dogs, wake up with ticks.
    we need a new generation of leaders, need to move away from the wishy washy style of both the PLP/FNM

  • The PLP has more new faces and intellectuals than the FNM which is very surprising seeing that persons like Delroy Meadows what have been expected to lean more to the FNM. I dont think Ingraham understands the challenge he is bound to face in 2012 if he stays on as leader. Meadows for example knows the science of online campaigning and creating large follows. I believe he will use this to his advantage as he’s currently doing in the PLP. We dont see this in the FNM and it’s a huge disadvantage.

  • Excellent response Mr. Brown. You know it is soooo rediculous that there are people who still believe that they can fit you into one of these political categories to shut others up, when one is speaking about someone or something that will clearly affect us all. Like I said before, we will continue to have a rising crime problem because this is big business for our politicians, who are lawyers and the criminals who seek help from their law firm are very much aware of this.

  • Guy Fawkes, in my haste, i did not properly address your comments. Solutions were offered and rejected out of hand not only by the FNM but also by the PLP.The strategy required to solve most of the criminal activity being experienced and some of the murders is so simple that its laughable that we Bahamians are still living in fear. But, until there is a major shift in our thinking and, the “real” experts allowed to develop and implement crime reduction strategies we will continue to flounder from one crisis to another.Incidentally, my posting in Law Enforcement was international!!

  • Guy Fawkes,i am not a politician but, have worked in Law Enforcement at a high level.

  • I was trying to figure out who this person was. Now i see, he is another politician, who by there very nature are so quick to point out the flaws in the system but can not offer any real and binding solutions to not only the government, but their own party. This is the worst display of political ineptitude since I saw Michael Halkitis and John Carey petitioning in Parliament for their own government (at the time the PLP was still in power) to build a Carmichael\Golden Isles (or maybe Halkitis was Delaporte)area. Pathetic.

  • When you consider that Nassau is only 147 square miles and that there are more than 3,000 police in Nassau including reservists you see the magnitude of the problem facing the RBPF.It takes many years to train a good police officer and, given the size of our population good officers are few and far between. Yet the FNm continues to “gut” the RBPF by sending good experienced officers home some at relatively young ages and promoting their cromies.I do not see how the RBPF can cope with this shortage of trained, experienced officers and, the corrupt officers who remain.I believe that the current COP will be used as a scapegoat althought the politicians make all of the key decisions on staffing, promotions etc, in the RBPF.Given the current thinking of the FNM don’t be surprised if we have a foreign COP fairly shortly.

  • I’ve been watching Delroy Meadows for some time now. I was surprised to hear his age of just 30 as he seems to hold the mind of someone in his 50s. Very wise and creative with his words. He doesn’t seem to be interested in the average political rhetoric being spewed into the public. This will be a very interesting election come 2012.

  • You don’t have to be a “Mad Scientist” to figure out if you discontinue the services of so many police officers against their will, as we did not too long ago, we were looking for trouble.
    “SOME” working police are deeply engaged in criminal activity. What you expect of those released officers who still had police clothing.
    Remember the former officer in Andros who was tell everyone he still on the Police Force?

  • Delroy Meadows many Bahamians are staring to feel that the government has all but lost their wits when it comes to doing anything constructive about serious crimes. Just announcing that you will throw millions more without dealing with the sources is a waste of money. Sadly, the culture of easy money resides in far too many Bahamians, from our politicians to lawyers and down the average adult Joe and Mary; with them all having this negative affect our teenagers. Just one major killing of a well-known tourist has the potential to seriously cripple our bread and butter tourist industry. The minister cannot put a police officer in front every residence, or every street corner. Even if this were possible many may even say the criminals are growing in their lack of fear of our Police.