Turnquest: Police operation has put dent in crime
Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest contended during his contribution to the mid-year budget debate in the House of Assembly on Thursday that Operation Rapid Strike has caused a significant reduction in armed robberies and vehicle theft.
Turnquest said Rapid Strike-in less than two months-had so far caused the arrest of 297 people accused of various crimes. Turnquest said among those arrested, 162 had outstanding warrants, while 63 were picked up for possession of dangerous drugs and 17 for possession of firearms.
Turnquest added that 20 firearms and 280 rounds of ammunition were confiscated during the operation.
“For the good citizens of New Providence, Operation Rapid Strike continues to be a blessing,”he said.
“Operation Rapid Strike has had tremendous success with the use of two new 30-seater buses.
“These have enabled the police to transport personnel in large numbers to various hot crime spots in New Providence.
“The acquisition has also allowed for other police units to decrease response time generally.”
The Rapid Strike force was assembled in response to a spate of murders that marred the first two and a half weeks of 2011 and Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade insisted it would continue indefinitely until”our communities are restored to the once peaceful places they were.”
Turnquest said while Rapid Strike cannot canvas the entire island all at once, its positive effects are still being felt throughout communities across New Providence.
“It has been successful in improving the quality of life for residents of New Providence by holding the criminal element at bay,”he said.
He invited the public to visit the police’s updated website(www.royalbahamaspolice.org)in order to see the number of illegal firearms that have been taken off the streets.
“So far this year, 65 firearms have been seized,”Turnquest said.
“It is to be noted that successes at fighting crime have been beyond that realized with Operation Rapid Strike. The ongoing work of divisional commands across the policing districts of New Providence has resulted in the arrest of prolific offenders such as house-breakers and other criminals.”