|Island Notes: Entrapment|
|Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:27|
Chronic unemployment, drugs, hopelessness, have all presumably caused the present high crime rates but it is the murder statistics that are at an astounding new high. Perry Christie, the Leader of the Opposition, in a recently televised address stated, ‘Yet here we are in August, and already ninety Bahamians have lost their lives to violence this year. Ninety – an extraordinary number, a record-breaking number…’ Mr Christie, and indeed the entire Bahamian population, must be horrified by the news item in the ‘Guardian’ of September 19, 2011:
The murder count reached triple digits over the weekend, as five violent deaths recorded in the space of 48 hours pushed the count to a staggering 100...
Hardly a day goes by without other news headlines about a serious crime being committed in the islands. Here is another sampling from the ‘Guardian’:
More murders took place this month than in any other month in Bahamian recorded history, according to police statistics. The murder count for July was...Triple homicide
Three people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in an apartment on Montgomery Avenue off Carmichael Road this morning, not far from where...
A pregnant woman was gunned down a few feet away from the intersection of Prince Charles Drive and Beatrice Drive, in front of a little boy, around 10...
Police are seeking the public's help in locating a male suspect responsible for the shooting of a 24-year-old male. According to police reports, the ....
A 10-year-old boy watched as his pregnant mother begged a gunman for her life on Wednesday night and then watched as that same man shot her to death ....
The following is from a letter written by Gary Christie to the ‘Freeport News’. Mr Christie is an advocate of urban renewal and improved policing who offered this contrast with Miami.
Urban renewal initiatives are reaping crime reduction rewards. In 2009, there were 59 murders in Miami, Florida (a metropolitan area of some 2 million people), second lowest total since 1967. This is a 73 percent decline from the 220 murders in 1980, the deadliest year in Miami history.
In the Bahamas we have had 100 murders this year so far and there are still over three months to go to the end of the year…! If urban renewal is one of the answers to fighting crime (and I seriously wonder if it is the cause, it is more likely a focus of social malaise), how is it that the aptly-named ‘ghetto’ in Freeport is still ‘un-renewed’? The ‘ghetto’ is a seething slum close to downtown that has been in physical and social decline for over 30 years. So what is holding back the urban renewal of the ghetto?
We all agree something must be done with the crime situation. One suggestion is to anticipate where crimes might be perpetrated and by whom. With this in mind the police might anticipate where criminal acts are likely to be perpetrated and set up ‘sting’ operations – another word for entrapment. A bit naive perhaps, and not without ethical and legal obstacles, but in desperate times I think the police might attempt to follow the idea expressed in the following simplistic jingle:
A cure may be to draw the criminal element
- Peter Barratt
Island Notes is contributed by Peter Barratt. The author of a number of books, including his newest 'FREEPORT NOTEBOOK,' Mr. Barratt has over 40-years’ experience with the island. Barratt's books are available in Grand Bahama at Oasis drug store, the Rand Nature Centre, Bahamian Tings and the Garden of the Groves shops. In Nassau his books are available at most bookshops on the island.
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