Dames expects crime to continue to trend downward, even when curfew lifted

While Minister of National Security Marvin Dames acknowledged that the 24-hour curfew likely impacted the crime rate, he expressed confidence yesterday that crime will continue to trend downwards after the lifting of some of the strict COVID-19 restrictions.

“Crime is down,” Dames said outside Cabinet.

“I don’t have the numbers to back that up, but based on what we’re seeing, crime is down. And we expect that crime will continue to trend downward because we have a plan in place.”

Dames added, “I would suspect that the curfew would have had an impact on figures in certain categories, of course.

“But I’ve been following crime globally, especially during this pandemic. And there are certain elements out there who will continue to wreak havoc, no matter what you have, curfew or no curfew. But after having said that, I think it’s having an impact on crime. We’ll have to measure to see what kind of an impact it is.”

As confirmed COVID-19 cases began to increase in The Bahamas in March, the government moved quickly to implement stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus.

With the 24-hour curfew and weekend total lockdowns came a notable decrease in reported serious crimes.

Dames said he is confident in the commissioner’s plan to address crime.

“We have been getting regular briefings and we’re confident that, as a government, that we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.

“We continue to provide the requisite resources to improve the quality of the policing experience here in The Bahamas. And we’re very confident that we are, in fact, on the right track. And the plan that the commissioner and his team would have put together, certainly for this period, is a good one.”

Dames added, “I think we’re in for a good year. I mean, every year the numbers continue to trend down. That is something that we promised as a government coming into office.

“And we don’t expect that that will change.”

Police statistics for 2019 revealed that overall crime decreased by seven percent last year. However, there were increases in the number of murders and armed robberies.

According to the statistics, there were 95 murders in 2019, compared to 91 in 2018 – an increase of four percent.

In 2018, The Bahamas saw the lowest murder rate it had in nearly a decade.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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