Nottage: New measures will alleviate crime issue
In light of the suggestion of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (Bahamas) President Graeme Davis that high crime in The Bahamas could negatively impact tourism in the country, National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said he believes certain measures that were put into place will “alleviate” the issue.
“We are doing everything to counteract the perceived increase in crime,” Nottage told reporters outside Parliament yesterday.
“I think that law enforcement agencies have adopted the recommendations which we have put in place, so I expect that we will see a significant downward trend of crime.
“I understand the concern, but I think we are putting in place measures which will alleviate the situation.”
While a guest on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM talk show “The Revolution” with host Juan McCartney on Monday, Davis said, “I think crime impacts every touristic destination and I think we should all be very, very mindful of how crime can have an impact to really turn an economy in a negative direction.
“I’ve worked in some very sensitive environments whether it be the Virgin Islands, whether it be Puerto Rico [or] Mexico where I have lived and worked.
“Crime and those types of actions can certainly have a negative impact on our industry.
“I think all of us in the community should do all that we can in every initiative we have to make sure that crime decreases and we do take the actions.”
Earlier this month, Nottage announced that the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) is being called in to work with police to fight crime in response to an alarming number of murders in New Providence over the space of three days.
He also said there were plans to increase foot patrols in crime hot spots, the aggressive stop and search of suspicious people and those in vehicles, and the activation and placement of specifically designed mobile police vans to serve as manned police stations in high crime communities.
To date, there have been 30 murders in the country.
Although crime overall was down by 26 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, as reported by Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade earlier this year, incidents of attempted murder, attempted robbery and unlawful sexual intercourse have increased.
Numerous travel advisories have been issued to Americans warning them of high cases of armed robberies and sexual assault in The Bahamas.
Asked if he believes that crime in the country would prevent tourists from travelling to The Bahamas, Nottage said, “The one thing that we do know is that there are very few crimes committed against tourists.
“They come here in the thousands and are able to walk about the place safely.
“So there’s no experience among tourists of serious crimes.
“They can go to the beaches, they can go shopping, they can use taxis and horses and carriages.
“For the cruise ship passengers, my understanding is that they are very impressed by the role police are playing in the downtown area, so what more is there for me to say?”