Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle said he is “extremely happy” with the progress he is seeing on Abaco as it relates to crime on the island, but noted that there is still room for improvement.
Rolle said there have been some “minor breaches”.
“I am extremely happy with what I’m seeing in Abaco,” he said.
“As a matter of fact, I just got off a webinar with the Abaco Business Reconstruction Redevelopment, but I had to pull away to come here.
“We have done a lot in Abaco in the last month, increased the numbers of the police presence.
“We’ve also increased the number of police vehicles.”
Rolle added, “Crime numbers, of course, we have had a few minors breaches. We took action with those.
“So, I think you’ll have to find out from the people in Abaco if they’re satisfied with what they’re seeing, but I could say that I’m satisfied that we have improved. And there’s still some more room for improvement and we’re going to continue until they all feel safe.”
Roscoe Thompson, head of the Marsh Harbour/Spring City township, said yesterday that there is definitely still room for improvement on Abaco.
“They still have reports of petty crime and stealing,” he said.
“Now, were all of them being reported? I don’t know, but there is room for improvement on their side in regards to certain issues.”
Thomson added, “I’ve been hearing of other break-ins. There is still that going on.
“The roadblocks and that are pissing some people off [but] it’s needed.
“I just wish that there would be more patrols throughout the day – that would be nice.
“They just brought the new six cars over and I can’t tell you when I saw them. I saw them one day.”
Crime on Abaco has been a controversial subject since the passing of Hurricane Dorian last year.
There were widespread reports of looting in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Since then, residents on the ground have continuously complained of break-ins and theft, among other issues.
Last month, Abaco Chamber of Commerce Director Krista Albury highlighted crime as one of the biggest challenges facing Abaconians who are trying to rebuild.
Following her comments, Rolle provided statistics that indicated a decrease in crime on Abaco compared to 2019.
Rolle’s comments prompted ire among Abaconians, who said many crimes go unreported because people have lost faith in the police’s response.
A number of residents detailed their personal experiences with crime, noting that the frequent theft of generators and building supplies is hampering reconstruction.
Following the outrage, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames announced that adjustments were being made to the policing strategy on the island.