Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis declared yesterday that Bahamians are no longer fearful of crime.
“When you talk to the average Bahamian yesteryear, there was great fear of crime,” Minnis said.
“They were fearful of coming out of their homes, fearful of driving around, etc. That fear has been relaxed. They are no longer fearful of crime; they’re no longer fearful of going to shopping centers, environment, etc. And we will even decrease that even further. I am greatly pleased and encouraged by what the police is doing.”
Murders are down 30 percent this year compared to last year, and police claim armed robberies are also down 14 percent.
Four people were murdered on New Providence this week.
A man and a woman were murdered outside Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre on Monday morning.
On Tuesday night, two men were found shot to death in a car in the driveway of a home in Jubilee Gardens.
Police were unable to provide any updates on the investigations of the murders.
But Minnis said, “… My understanding is that they may have leads.”
He added, “… They’re doing what they’re supposed to, and I’m convinced that police will do the best that they possibly can. However, when you look at what they are doing compared with the past, murder is down by over 36 percent, which is quite a great accomplishment in such a short time, and these two murders would’ve taken it up to what 82, 83?
“But still it’s been years since The Bahamas has been less than 100, but one murder is still too much, and the police are working aggressively. I cannot discuss their strategic plans going forward, but they are working aggressively to ensure that Bahamians are safe.”
The murder count in The Bahamas for the year is 83, according to police.
The count as of this time last year was 117.
Yesterday, Minnis reiterated his support for the resumption of hangings in The Bahamas.
“I am bound by the laws of The Bahamas. I am a law-abiding citizen,” he said.
“It is no secret that I believe in hanging. That has not changed. That is my personal view; however, I am confined by the laws of The Bahamas, full stop.”
In opposition, Minnis called for the necks of “murderous scumbags to be popped”.
There has not been a hanging in The Bahamas since January 2000.
In a June 2016 interview with The Tribune, when Minnis was the leader of opposition, he said if elected prime minister he would hold a referendum on capital punishment “as soon as possible”.
In July, Attorney General Carl Bethel announced that the government was considering enacting constitutional changes to preserve capital punishment as an effective penalty under the law.
He said the issue will be dealt with via constitutional reform.