Nottage committed to keeping peace on our streets…
NASSAU, The Bahamas – One hundred and fifty pairs of boots of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force were deployed Friday to execute “sedentary and other duties normally carried out by members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force” so that the maximum number of police officers who have been trained to fight crime and enforce law, are deployed to the front line.
Law enforcement officials say the deployments will allow law enforcement and national security officials to “deal quickly and precisely” with persons connected to, or participating in, transnational criminal activities such as drug running and arms dealing.
Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage, said guns, firearms and drugs that remain in the country through the transshipment process, have been central to the gang violence and turf wars impacting the country.
Dr. Nottage said the weapons have also fuelled the “scourge of robberies, murders and assaults on law-abiding citizens of the country.”
“We must and will flush out from among us the criminals along with their illegal firearms and drugs which seem to be fuelling crime,” Dr. Nottage said. “I impress upon all who are in possession of illegal guns and firearms to turn them in to the Police. I also impress upon members of the public who may know of anyone that is in possession of illegal guns and firearms to inform the police with the assurance that their identity will be kept in strictest confidence.”
Dr. Nottage said the Government of The Bahamas, like all law-abiding citizens, is “deeply troubled” by the murders that have taken place in the country and what appears to be the “wanton disregard” for human life and law and order.
“The situation cannot continue like this without a response commensurate with the wanton acts of violence and lawlessness,” Dr. Nottage said. “It must be a response that will halt the current spike in criminal activity in general, and murders in particular, in the shortest possible time.”
The National Security Minister said the deployment of Defence Force “boots on the ground” is part of a coordinated plan of action to address and halt that spike in crime and criminality in The Bahamas.
The Plan involves all of the country’s various national security and law enforcement agencies.
As another part of that coordinated Plan, the Government will provide the Royal Bahamas Police Force with additional vehicles over the next few weeks to extend the saturation patrol initiative across the island of New Providence.
“A considerable amount of work has been done to improve the coordination, collaboration and cooperation among the various national law enforcement agencies. This has led to operations that are more effective and has improved the ability of local enforcement agencies in effectively fighting crime,” Dr. Nottage said.
“Let me express my sincere appreciation to the Police Force, the Defence Force, the Departments of Immigration and Customs, and the community, for the successes we have experienced in the war against crime.
“It is recognised that continuous communication and partnering between the Police and the community are fundamental requirements in the fight against crime in The Bahamas. This is critical because the community is ultimately responsible for ensuring the ambience and what makes The Bahamas unique, is protected and preserved.”
The National Security Minister had a final warning for criminal elements.
“There is going to be no let-up in our fight against crime. We will not allow criminal violence and anti-social behaviour to subvert the economic development of the country and the well-being of our people.
“We are going to remain focused, even as we maintain the fullest deployment of our law enforcement and other agencies,” Dr. Nottage added.