National Security Minister Marvin Dames said residents should seek to be proactive when it comes to certain types of security and not be so heavily reliant on the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).
“One of the things that we recognize since coming into office is that we have to move away from this business where there is total reliance and dependency upon the police,” he said.
“… I said the more we invest in law enforcement, what it simply means is that we are not addressing the problems that we face in this country in a real way and we have to move to that.
“I would like to see us to continue to reduce the amount of money that we put in law enforcement. But unfortunately, we are at a place and time where we have to in the short term.”
Dames, who was a guest on Guardian Radio show The Revolution with host Juan McCartney on Monday, encouraged residents to invest in enhanced security measures.
“You have to start taking time out to invest in your own security,” he said. “That’s where it starts first, not the police. The police, they’re there and they will be there, but don’t put 100 percent reliance on the police.”
In the past few weeks, there has been a string of house break-ins and armed robberies. Some residents have called for greater police presence. Dames, a former police officer, said while he understands their concern, there are some things that civilians can do to protect themselves.
“Every incident is concerning to us,” Dames added. “We are bothered by it. I can recall every time an incident occurred, we didn’t sleep until we caught these guys… I have been the victim of a break-in before.”
Dames noted that criminals are scouting in various neighborhoods and looking for vulnerabilities. He added that residents must also be just as vigilant.
“One time ago, it was almost impossible to purchase… a camera system,” he said.
“Now you can purchase a camera system for a few hundred dollars. You can purchase an alarm system for less, and to monitor, it’s cheap. There are any number of companies that charge little to nothing to monitor.”
He said its also important for homeowners to ensure their windows and doors are secure. He said purchasing a dog is another option.
“These are the steps that you take within your own home,” he continued.
He added that things like neighborhood watch groups help to improve community safety. He said oftentimes people see criminals roaming their neighborhoods but they don’t pay enough attention.
“We see things but it doesn’t register,” he said adding that residents have to find a way to make it register.