Tackle the war on crime

Dear Editor,

Random shootings, drive-by shootings and even gunfights between gangs have sadly become common in our nation’s capital. Rarely does a day go by and there is not at least one person who is killed by a gun.

Every time you turn on the news on, the headlines of “breaking news another homicide” do not even come as a surprise anymore.

It is sickening how these numbers are increasing but little is being done to fully address this matter.

Crime is not solely the government’s job; and I applaud the efforts of members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Ministry of National Security for trying to address the matters of safety concerns, however, unless the public does its part, the efforts of law enforcement will have minimal impact.

It’s time we introduce an actual crime-fighting committee via a summit.

We need more, and better strategies on how to stop violent crime. We need to hear the voices of those people who can actually help, with experience and track records even if it means soliciting the assistance of outside help.

Bring together the criminal justice experts, knowledgeable law enforcement leaders, community activists, and the church.

Listen to them as they draw on their research and experiences to advise us on how New Providence can do more to stop shootings and other violent crimes. This is the kind of vision and initiative we want from our leaders.

The bane of bullets is tearing at the fabric of our livelihood and safety. The toll of homicides is spreading throughout the communities, and it’s heartbreaking. We hear families and victims echoing voices pleading for us to do more.

The emotional and financial cost of this massacre is immeasurable. Families are suffering. So many people are getting fed up with crime.

Crime has increased from last year. This is not the society we want to live in. The people are looking to their leaders to create an environment in which they and their loved ones feel safe.

We know it’s a challenge, but the strategies of yesterday do not work against the growing threats of today and tomorrow.

We need serious experts that can champion, lobby, and rally behind a place to reduce homicides and other violent crimes.

While no single strategy by itself will reduce crime, a well-thought-out one can cause us to move in the right direction.

With the right leaders, with the right ideas and execution, I believe that we can get back to the island we know.

Meanwhile, the government should take into consideration the following:

• Enhance mobile patrol units in rural communities; set up mobile command posts;

• Manage up-to-date and current CCTV and or implement more in rural communities;

• Expand the partnership between the police and the church and other NGOs;

• Have a drone in every rural community;

• Create checkpoints at particular intersections with trained dogs to search after a crime is reported in an area.

These are just some of the initiatives that I believe can assist in our war on crime in The Bahamas.

Tougher measurements need to be implemented to provide safety and security to all residents alike.

These current, brazen murderers are an indication that criminals no longer fear law enforcement. The current model of combating crime, therefore, has to change and the authorities must do what they must to control it.

We cannot do things the same way and expect a different result.

 Dr. Matheo Smith

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