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Murders up 11%

There has been an 11 percent increase in murders so far this year over last year, according to police.

Police recorded 121 murders in 2022 and reported that 68 percent of those have been solved.

Last year, 119 murders were recorded.

Seventy three were recorded in 2020; 95 in 2019; 91 in 2018 and 122 in 2017.

The record was set in 2015 with 146 murders.

Many of this year’s murder victims were men out on bail.

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe yesterday acknowledged this profile of victims and said assistance will be offered to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to address that trend.

“We’re also going to be partnering with the courts to have a task force to look at methods to increase the efficiency of the disposal of cases,” he said.

“That’s classically the courts but we can assist. For example, the office of the DPP, Chief Superintendent Thompson and the lawyers from the police force have offered to assist in the bail revocation application and the chief justice has agreed that we are going to convene a task force of all the stakeholders.

“The goal is to look at steps we can take to get rid of delays in the court process.”

Munroe said the police are also considering some “creative things” to address the increased murder trend but he declined to disclose those measures.

He said the government is also focused on diverting at-risk youth from a life of crime, and providing and encouraging counseling for people dealing with stress and other issues.

Munroe said focus is also being placed on rehabilitation at the prison.

Most of the murders that occur in The Bahamas are the result of gun violence.

In October, Prime Minister Philip Davis said if had it not been for initiatives Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander put in place, the murder situation would have been worse.

“Plans are in place to address the issues,” Davis said.

“You will find that saturation patrol is out there. We think that the numbers might have been much more had the initiatives that the new commissioner of police [put in place not been put in place]. If you go out there and you see it, there is a lot of disruptions that have been occurring over the last couple of months.

“In fact, you would have heard cries about the disruptive nature of the police and cries of civil liberties being trampled upon, which we don’t think it is, but those are some of the things that are being said, but I think they’re the disruptive interventions by police over the weekends [that] have been working.”

Police had recorded 104 murders at the time of the prime minister’s comments.

With 17 murders recorded since then, some members of the public have called on the officials to do more to get the situation under control.

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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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