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Government to invest$8.5 million in fighting crime

With 2010 recorded as the bloodiest year in the country’s history with some 96 murders committed, the government yesterday assured that the criminals would be defeated.

While addressing the annual law enforcement service held at Christ Church Cathedral, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette said the government will pump some$8.5 million in the Royal Bahamas Police Force over the next six months to provide for additional manpower, the purchase of additional police vehicles, and will invest in crime scene investigation and communications equipment.

“The year 2010 has been one of challenge, when violent crime affected the very foundations of our communities and our country. The level of crime and criminality, and the fear of crime, has been unacceptably high,”said Symonette who spoke on behalf of National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest.

“We must be inspired by the message of hope, of the good news in God’s word, that we can prevent and reverse those negative crime trends, and set our country back on track in 2011,”Symonette said.

He noted that the courage, strength, resilience and professionalism of the men and women of the RBPF have been tested. 

“My observations, and those of the government and all law-abiding citizens and residents of The Bahamas, are that you remain committed and determined to ensure that The Bahamas is a place where all can live in peace. The criminals will be defeated and you have the full support of all good people as you carry out your mandate,”he stressed.

Symonette’s comments came on the heels of the country recording the second murder for the year. A man was riddled with bullets in front of his Soldier Road home late Saturday evening. His death followed that of a 40-year-old man, whose body was discovered behind Carmichael Road eatery Burger Barn on Friday morning.

According to Symonette, everyone must make a renewed effort to prevent crime, and to bring perpetrators to justice by speaking up and speaking out, and making a positive contribution to the fight against crime.

He commended the RBPF for giving renewed impetus to police community partnerships, and added that training, retraining and the expansion of the force continue to be a priority.

“There is no higher priority than maintaining law and order and ensuring the peace and security of our beloved country. The government is therefore committed to making our communities more safe and secure by making them more easily policed. And, so as we prepare to meet the challenges ahead, and as the changes within the various departments of the police force are put in place, I admonish you, the men and women of the police force, to recommit yourselves to even higher standards,”Symonette admonished.

He urged the officers to wear their uniforms and badges with pride and carry out their duties without fear or favor.

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