FNM CLUELESS TO DEAL WITH CRIME CHALLENGES FACING THE BAHAMAS
MURDER RATE FOR 2010 HAS NOW ECLIPSED 2009
PRESS STATEMENT: The FNM has miserably failed the Bahamian people and visitors alike in introducing any meaningful and comprehensive programme to appropriately tackle the numerous crime challenges facing The Bahamas. The PLP has reached the conclusion that the failure of the FNM administration to be proactive and address The Bahamas’ crime problem has significantly contributed to the fear of crime and the flagrant disregard for law and order, especially in New Providence. Under the FNM administration, the Country has recorded four years of record breaking murder rates. There are a number of suspicious deaths that occurred for the year that have yet to be classified.
The situation is more frightening due to the fact that in recent times, there have been unprecedented attacks including shootings and cold-blooded murders perpetrated against innocent women and children. The FNM administration must be held accountable for this alarming state of affairs under its current leadership of PM Hubert Alexander Ingraham and his Minister of National Security, Tommy Turnquest.
The FNM came to office in 2007 under its banner “dedicated to restoring trust in Government”. In its Manifesto, the FNM stated that it had “a comprehensive plan to reduce crime and better protect Bahamian families”. To this end the FNM made many promises, none of which has been fulfilled by the FNM.
According to the FNM 2007 Manifesto:
1. The FNM said it will “Expand the community policing programme”.
Not done. Rather, this administration stopped and cancelled (or as they say “adjusted”) the award winning, internationally renowned and acclaimed Urban Renewal Programme which was introduced by the PLP (Christie) administration. This was the most aggressive and comprehensive programme introduced in recent history to stop crime through community efforts. However, the Ingraham administration did not stop there. They also halted programmes endorsed by Church and civic organizations which they claimed were too expensive – can this compare to the continuous flow of blood of some of these very same young men on our streets today? Could more have been and can be done to save our young men and people? The PLP says a resounding ‘yes’.
2. The FNM said it will “Develop school curricula with healthy lifestyle initiatives and mentoring programmes to sensitize our children to the importance of making good choices and avoiding violence as a means of conflict resolution”.
Not done. On the contrary, sexual exploitation, abuse and criminal activities have dominated the media regarding incidents in our schools and/or involving school aged children since 2007. As a matter of fact, statistics released by the Women’s Crisis Center indicate significant increases in abuse toward children which is a direct indication of the FNM’s failure to develop any school or community curricula to promote healthy lifestyles.
To add to this plight, the constant eruption of violence in our schools which have resulted in our young men and children being stabbed has become unbearable. The FNM’s cancellation of the School Based Policing Initiative is the cause of this state of affairs and demonstrates a lack of vision of their part.
3. The FNM said it will “Implement programmes designed to tackle social problems of addiction, domestic violence, and recidivism”.
Not done. Hubert Ingraham’s administration cannot identify any all-embracing programme that they have introduced since coming to office in 2007 to address this goal. As a result, the record breaking murder rates since 2007 has, to a significant extent, been attributed to an upsurge in domestic violence.
Moreover, the FNM has failed to introduce any comprehensive initiative to address the large number of persons on bail for murder and other violent offences who continue to kill and reoffend. This has now resulted in the rapidly growing trend of retaliatory/revenge killings which have caused the homicide rate to grow by leaps and bounds.
4. The FNM said it will “Promote non-violent resolution of conflicts”.
Not done. The likelihood of violence at all public functions and the recent “disturbance” in Bain Town is evidence of the FNM’s non-action to fulfill this Manifesto item.
5. The FNM said it will “Ensure that all residential streets are named and have street signs”.
6. The FNM said it will “Ensure that all buildings are numbered”.
7. The FNM said it will “Ensure that street lighting is maintained”.
Not done, not done, not done. Ironically, the FNM is speaking to the issue of street lighting when it cannot maintain traffic lights. All over New Providence, the traffic lights are either malfunctioning, the red and/or green light is blown or the light itself is not working at all. This has caused many accidents, near fatal crashes and the flagrant disregard for traffic laws.
8. The FNM said it will “Assist home-owners and businesses to help prevent crime by reducing import duties on security equipment, components and supplies”.
Not done. On this point, the cost itself of security equipment, components and supplies are prohibitive to the average home and business. It is obvious therefore, that the FNM is only blowing ‘hot air’.
9. The FNM said it will “Regularly review police requirements in all communities to ensure that the number of officers assigned is in accordance with the needs of the community”.
Absolutely not done. How can the FNM review police requirements in all communities to ensure that the number of officers assigned is in accordance with the needs of the community if the FNM has instructed and removed the officers from the communities?? This makes absolutely no sense and all the FNM has done once again is to seek to mislead the Bahamian people.
Is this a matter of trust? The PLP contends that the FNM has miserably failed the Bahamian people and assures the wider community that it is just a matter of time until the PLP becomes the Government once again and restores law and order where peace is preserved and the fear of crime is removed.