Murder spate chips away at crime fight gains
Notwithstanding a spate of murders over the weekend and a narrowing margin in the decrease of murders year on year, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday there will be some expected fluctuations, but authorities do have a grip on crime, and crime overall is expected to continue to decline.
“This is the dynamic nature of law enforcement and we expect, given these short term measures that we’re putting in place, that we’re going to expect that there will be ebbs and flows,” Dames said.
“The key thing though is how do the police respond to it? That is what is key. Over the weekend, you had three homicides. You had three homicides [in] two incidents.”
He continued, “From time to time you are going to have these incidents where people are released from prison, and you’re anticipating, and they want to settle old scores.
“Sometimes, this is what happens. Now, it is how they respond to it. [Police] started a major operation focusing on the information they had at their disposal [on Saturday] and they started to do some things.
“Hopefully, that will begin this process of putting a lid on those core of individuals who may have been connected to this in one way or the other. That’s part of the challenge.”
As it relates to the double murder on Saturday, Dames said authorities learned the men were threatened more than a week before they were killed, but the matter was not reported.
The minister noted that as the government and authorities begin to roll-out certain medium and long-term measures, “We hope in the long run you begin to see a more relaxing, and a more constant and balanced [set of] figures, but right now, these are short-term measures, suppressing these gang activities and drug activities throughout the hot spots, pockets of the island…”
When asked whether authorities have a grip on crime, Dames insisted, “Absolutely”.
“The police authorities have significant control,” he said. “If you look at their success over the weekend, they would have taken considerable amount of weapons off the street, and drugs.
“One of the things here, and I continue to say, this is bigger than a police problem. Parents have to learn how to sit down with their kids, especially their young men and say ‘the lifestyle you are engaging in has some concerns’.”
As of February, murders were down 47 percent compared to the previous year.
By the end of April, murders were down 45 percent.
As of June 10, 2018 there were 44 murders in The Bahamas, a 32 percent decrease over the 65 murders up to that point in 2017.
Six people were murdered this month. Three of those incidents took place within 24 hours over the weekend.
Around 10 a.m. on Saturday two men were shot at a barber shop on Jerome Avenue, off Pyfrom Road. One died on the scene; the other died in hospital.
Authorities identified the men as Delano Miqeal Cartwright, 18, and Malik Lance Cartwright, 19, both of Griffin Road, off Jerome Avenue.
Around 10 p.m. the same day, a man was shot and killed at his home off Cowpen Road. He was identified yesterday as Wilton Alexander Brown, 48.
The victim arrived at his Hollywood Subdivision home with his children when a vehicle pulled up behind them.
A gunman exited the vehicle and demanded cash from the victim, according to authorities.
After the robber searched the man’s pockets, he shot the man before fleeing.