|Nottage says Police initiatives are having impact on war on crime|
|Friday, 20 July 2012 06:27|
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The actions the Royal Bahamas Police Force has been taking against crime and criminality in The Bahamas through the Urban Renewal Programme and other police initiatives, are making a “significant difference” in the war on crime, Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage said.
“I don’t know if anybody else has noticed, but there has been a difference and that difference is as a result of the work that they are doing,” Dr. Nottage said. “One of the results of the Urban Renewal Programme is that it has the potential to improve the intelligence gathering by the Police and to enable them to further stem the tide of crime. This impact is already being demonstrated.
“Now I promised not to mention it because when you do, the devil goes back to work, but if the programmes are successful; if they are working, I ask that they be accepted and enhanced by you, and that you would help us to promote them,” Dr. Nottage added.
Addressing members of the clergy attending the first Village Keepers Seminar, Dr. Nottage said keeping crime – particularly violent crime – to a minimum is going to take the efforts of all parties – law enforcement and national security officials, the church, private enterprise, the government and individual and collective communities.
The one-day Seminar was a collaboration between the Police, Urban Renewal and Pastors/Ministers of churches operating in the Bain and Grant’s Town Community. Its aim was to increase collaboration and exchange of information between the religious community in the area and the Project Team. It is anticipated that this will facilitate the development of a community Action Plan to prevent and reduce youth violence and crime within the community.A number of topics were addressed, among them, Youth Violence in the Community, the Effects of the Drug Culture on Youth Violence; the Importance of Pastors and The Community As Gate Keepers and Violence Prevention, A Public Health Perspective, among others.
Guest Speakers included the Most Reverend Drexel Gomez; Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Hulan Hanna, School Psychologist, Dr. Novia Carter, Pastor Barrington Brennen of Living Faith Family Church, Mr. Harris Smith, Chief Welfare Officer, Her Majesty’s Prison and Inspector Crislyn Skippings, Public Affairs and Communications Officer, Royal Bahamas Police Force.
“Some people may not want to accept that the Programme has already reaped some benefits, but it has” Dr. Nottage said. “It is almost as if some people are angry because they haven’t heard about someone getting murdered last night, or the night before, or the night before, which had been happening.
“The Police have shown us that through their disciplined leadership, they have the capacity to help us to drive this reformation in our communities,” Dr. Nottage added.
Dr. Nottage said community involvement, along with the Police initiatives, will ensure even greater successes.
“The Police cannot solve crime by themselves,” he said. “These criminals live in our homes; they are our children, or our brother’s children or our neighbours, and when they come home with the bounty that you know they are not working for, you have the responsibility to ensure that they give an account for the resources they are able to produce.
“When you know that your child, or the neighbour’s child is selling drugs to other people’s children or is engaged in some other nefarious activity, you have a responsibility to let the authorities know about these things.”
The National Security Minister said certain sectors of society continue to downplay the importance of the work the Police are doing with regards to the removal of derelict vehicles or the dismantling of abandoned buildings.
“Our villages need restoration, physically, we are trying to clear up overgrown properties, remove derelict vehicles, breakdown abandoned houses and buildings and some persons ask ‘how you can crime by doing that?’
“Well the truth of the matter is that we know that criminals often hide guns and/or drugs in those derelict vehicles. We know that the abandoned buildings are used as drug houses and as bases for nefarious activities.
“It has been proven that when we destroy those bases, it has a significant impact on crime in those areas and gives the community a feeling of greater safety when they are removed.
“We have to sustain our activities that are reaping beneficial rewards and where necessary and/or possible, add to them,” Dr. Nottage said.Photo: Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage, addresses members of the clergy attending the first Royal Bahamas Police Force/Bain and Grant's Town Urban Renewal Centres Village Keepers Seminar held Thursday at the Transfiguration Baptist Church Community Centre, Vesey Street. The combined Urban Renewal Band, which provided entertainment for the event, sits to the Minister's left. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)
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