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Marvin Dames: Many of govt crime strategies not new

SLOAN SMITH
Guardian Staff Reporter
sloan@nasguard.com

Published: Feb 17, 2017

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Free National Movement (FNM) candidate for Mount Moriah and former Deputy Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames yesterday questioned several of the crime-fighting measures outlined by Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, suggesting that they should have already been in place.

The crime measures came two days after Prime Minister Perry Christie likened the murder situation in New Providence to “the Wild West”.

Between Friday night and Monday morning, seven men were shot dead on the island.

In an interview with The Nassau Guardian yesterday, Dames said, “When we look at what the minister said a few days ago, it seems to me they are thinking up something but they are not quite certain as to what they are thinking up.

“There are so many questions as to what this means.

“You say you are going to do these things; how are you going to do them? And when are you going to do them?

“What are the timelines on them? And does it mean that the current plan, that is supposed to be the commissioner’s crime plan, has failed you?

“And so are you saying, if it has, then who is accountable?

“These are the questions that must be asked.”

A part of Nottage’s crime-fighting measures included directing the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) to work with police.

In June 2013, Nottage also announced plans in Parliament to deploy up to 150 RBDF marines to assist the police in fighting crime.

Other plans Nottage announced on Wednesday included the increase of foot patrols in crime hot spots; the aggressive stop and search of suspicious people and vehicles; and the activation and placement of specially designed mobile police vans to serve as manned police stations in communities where violent crimes take place.

Nottage said the police force has two such specially designed vans.

Speaking to the specially designed mobile vans, Dames said yesterday he was a part of the acquisition of these two vehicles more than six years ago.

“Where have they been?,” he asked

“Are we saying then that these vehicles have not been properly utilized or they have not been utilized at all?”

He also questioned Nottage’s plans for the CCTV system.

“He did indicate in his report that they will make certain now that these CCTV’s are being monitored 24/7,” Dames said.

“So we haven’t been monitoring them 24/7, after spending maybe millions in infrastructure and equipment to install.

“Are we saying today, years after they have been implemented, are we saying that we haven’t been monitoring them on a 24/7 basis?

“We can purchase all of the equipment in the world, but if we are not utilizing the equipment properly, we will not get the optimum results.

“And stuff like aggressive stop and search and increased visibility, these things are fundamental policing tasks.

“The minister is now saying we are going to do them. So what exactly is he saying?

“Is he saying the way we are currently operating is not up to scratch?

“It will be interesting to find out.”

Dames added, “I would certainly like to see this government during the last few days in office or few weeks, find some means to abate crime.”


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