Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday that the government does not intend to provide emergency whistles to people as was suggested by members of the opposition, noting that he does not believe that option to be a solution.
“That’s not on our agenda right now,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony at Bahamas Power and Light’s Blue Hills Power Station.
“…We have a lot of other policy initiatives that are reaping results and are due to reap results. We’re prepared to look at anything that will assist us with reducing crime in this country, but I don’t think that a whistle is a solution. I mean, people blow whistles every day.
“So, how do you distinguish?
‘Which whistle is that? Is that someone at a Junkanoo practice or is that someone calling for help?’
“We need to be much more strategic. We need to be much more intellectual in our approach to addressing these very mammoth issues that require much more in-depth thought and consideration.”
On Tuesday, PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis called on government to provide complimentary safety whistles to women and children to help deter crime.
It was one of several initiatives Davis outlined. He also suggested heightened neighborhood patrols, an online predators list that is updated regularly and active neighborhood cameras.
The comments regarding whistles led to backlash, with dozens of people taking to social media to express their criticism as memes ridiculing the suggestion made the rounds online.
Davis also claimed that the suggestion originally was from the Free National Movement (FNM) manifesto.
Dames refuted that, however, saying that he has “not heard anyone within the FNM [speak] to a whistle”.
“I’m not certain of this manifesto he’s referring to,” Dames said.
“Maybe in his manifesto, but certainly not in ours. I mean, if you look at our plan, we rolled it out since coming into office and we are already beginning to see tremendous dividends.”
He added, “Remember, these are not problems that just showed their face overnight.
“I continue to say what we’re experiencing is no different from anywhere else in the region, in the world.
“But in our case, as a result of decades of neglect…on the part of families, and neglect on the part of successive governments.
“But this government has taken a stance that we will address this matter face-on, head-on, and we will address it decisively with the view of bringing some relief to the people of The Bahamas who reside in these communities and who have to live these things on a daily basis.”