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Police commissioner ‘very aware’ of U.S. advisory

Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said police are doing all that they can to ensure that all visitors and Bahamians are safe in The Bahamas.

The U.S. Department of State reissued a level two travel advisory on Monday, warning U.S. citizens to “exercise increased caution” when visiting the country due to crime.

The U.S. issued a similar advisory in January 2018.

When asked about the advisory during a police walkabout, Ferguson said police are taking measures to protect “not only visitors”.

“We are very aware of what is being said,” the commissioner said.

“We are doing everything that we can in order to make the entire Commonwealth of The Bahamas safe for every single Bahamian [and] every single person who would visit our shores, not just one set of people. I think if we start to do a good job with ourselves then we can do a good job with other people.”

He added: “First of all, I learned that you must keep your own doorstep clean first before you go elsewhere. And, so, exactly where we are today we must clean the place where we live. If we are doing a good job at that, then we can go elsewhere and help clean the doorsteps.”

Although overall crime in The Bahamas decreased by eight percent in 2018 compared to 2017, the United States advised that this latest warning was reissued after periodic review with updates to information on crime.

“Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assault, is common, even during the day and in tourist areas,” the advisory read.

“Although the Family Islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands.”

On Wednesday, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames defended the efforts being made to decrease crime in The Bahamas.

He said, “I mean, we would’ve crunched some numbers during 2018 and from the numbers that we would’ve crunched of matters reported to the police, we feel that…any crime against a visitor is one too many. But we feel that those numbers can stack up against any country almost anywhere in the world.”

The advisory urged U.S. citizens who travel to The Bahamas to exercise caution in the Over-the-Hill area and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.

Visitors were also told not to answer the door at their hotel/residence, unless they know who is on the other side, and not to physically resist any robbery attempt.

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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