Davis says Dames tone deaf on crime

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday accused Minister of National Security Marvin Dames of being “tone deaf and insensitive” after the minister downplayed concerns over a string of recent housebreaking incidents on New Providence.

“It is amazing that the Minister of National Security Marvin Dames could be so tone deaf and insensitive to dismiss the fears of the public after hearing that there was a home invasion and burglary of former Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes,” Davis said.

“We are aware that this is not the first invasion of a former governor general. Dame Marguerite Pindling’s home was invaded and a report made and the direct intervention of the prime minister was requested. The outcome of that is not known to us.

“There are reports of other home invasions and physical assaults on women in various parts of New Providence, yet the minister said there is no cause for alarm.”

Davis added, “He sought to blame social media for enlargening the exposure of the issue. His tone was insensitive and dismissive.”

The PLP called on the government to provide adequate security to former governors general.

“If the government cannot do that, it means the government is a failure in the eyes of the public and the general public will have no confidence that the government can look after our general welfare and security.”

On Friday, Dames said social media may be making housebreaking seem like a bigger problem than it is.

“We’re living in an era where every matter is magnified,” he said.

“And so, I don’t have the numbers, but in the era of social media, every house break-in now is important.

“[Last] year, we said the same thing with any number of different offenses and found out they were lower than the year before.

“After having said that, crimes of this nature, as always, are a concern. And I get constant updates from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).”

However, Dames said he is very concerned about two recent incidents where women were sexually assaulted in their homes.

“There have been one or two very serious incidents that concern me and that concern the RBPF as well and the Bahamian public,” he said.

“The police are working very hard to bring those matters to some resolution. And I believe that they are following any number of leads. Where those leads will end up, we just have to wait and see.

“But this is the world that we’re living in today, unfortunately.”

Sir Arthur’s house was burglarized while he and his wife were sleeping on Wednesday night.

Despite being reported to police, the burglary of Sir Arthur’s home was not included in the daily crime report.

Police reported a 22 percent decrease in housebreaking last year, with 648 incidents recorded.

This was a significant decrease when compared to 879 in 2018 and 875 in 2017.

The daily crime reports indicate that there have been three housebreakings for the year so far.

However, first-hand accounts of home invasions and burglaries on social media indicate that that figure may be higher.

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Jasper Ward

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

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