Boyd says more commitment needed in fight against crime
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 23, 2013
Accusing some law enforcement agencies of turning a blind eye to criminal activity, Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd on Monday night called for greater efforts in the fight against crime.
Delivering his charge at the opening session of the Anglican Synod at Christ Church Cathedral, Boyd said while recent efforts to fight crime are commendable,the issue is still a cause for "major concern".
"In my opinion, law enforcement agencies know who some perpetrators are and where some things are happening and they do nothing," Boyd said.
"Some persons who need to be persons of interest are not touched. Politics, party and organizational, continue to hamper the course of justice.
“Regardless of our political, racial, economic or social status, no person is or should be perceived to be beyond the reach of the law."
Boyd noted that recent efforts have been made to curtail crime. However, he said more needs to be done.
"Genuine efforts have been made to improve the administration of justice and we urge that these continue," he said.
Boyd commended Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage for recent initiatives, including the increased deployment of police officers.
He noted that work is also being done on the judicial end.
"The greater coordination between the various arms of the judicial system is commendable, as it is already bearing fruit,” he said.
"The availability of legal counsel, the selection of jurors, the availability of police and citizen witnesses should all work in harmony for the dispensing of justice and should not facilitate the prolonging of cases.
“No one part of the system must be allowed to hold the rest of the system to ransom. Justice delayed is justice deemed.”
The bishop said the introduction of some form of alternative dispute resolution systems may also be a useful crime-fighting tool.
Turning to the issue of politics, he said there is still too much "political fighting".
"In my view, elected officials, party leadership and rank and file membership often lose sight of the higher call of national development because of petty politics," he said.
"This is not good."
Boyd said both major parties are guilty of this. He encouraged the government and the opposition to work together.
"I wish to commend the current majority party for all of its genuine efforts to make a difference," he said.
"However, I am quick to encourage the prime minister and leader of the opposition to do their best since the Government of The Bahamas is the union of both majority and minority parties joined in the running of affairs for the good of that country."