|Office of the Attorney General discusses anti-crime bill with religious leaders|
|Thursday, 13 October 2011 17:30|
NASSAU, The Bahamas - Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs the Hon. John Delaney along with senior officials of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) entertained questions on the anti-crime Bill fielded by leaders of the religious community during a meeting Wednesday.
Mr. Delaney explained that the objective of the meeting was to answer questions with respect to the anti crime package tabled in the House of Assembly last week and for which Parliamentarians began debate yesterday. This is the second meeting with religious leaders that the OAG has organised for the year.
The OAG was represented by senior officials including Archie Nairn, Permanent Secretary; Vinette Graham-Allen, Director of Public Prosecutions; Franklyn Williams, Deputy Director and Marco Rolle, Undersecretary. Members of the Bahamas Christian Council were led by Dr. Ranford Patterson and other leaders including Rt. Rev. Laish Boyd, Anglican Bishop participated in the meeting. Senior officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force including Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson and Acting Deputy Commissioner Hulan Hanna were also present.
“As Bills are debated in Parliament we want to ensure that the community, starting with the leaders of the religious community are fully aware of what they are intended to do and any questions they might have in respect of them are answered so they can more easily follow the debate and assist their congregations and persons who might have questions,” said Mr. Delaney.
Outreach and increasing public education are among the goals of the OAG. To this end a website, and for the first time ever, an annual report have been produced. Public seminars including the Witness Care initiative have also been held.Mr. Delaney said the OAG would take any opportunity to facilitate public understanding as the crime package is considered a very important initiative of the Government.
“It is also a part of a multi-pronged initiative that the Government has been rolling out over a period of years like the courts, like the increased number of judges, etc.
“The bills are being debated but they are not set in stone. It is very common for there to be amendments to bills as they go through the parliamentary process. If there is something that is really important that they feel we take a look at there is every opportunity for us to do that while it is still in the debating stage.”
Similar outreach sessions are planned for Grand Bahama and Abaco.Pictured are some of the religious leaders in attendance at a meeting organised by the Office of the Attorney General to discuss the anti-crime bill. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)
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