PM Phillip Davis announces plan to combat crime amidst criticism from opposition

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Prime Minister Phillip Davis and the incumbent government of the Bahamas have initiated measures against rising crime rates, which have had a detrimental effect on the nation in recent times.

The Prime Minister used the opportunity during an address to the nation on the 14th of January, to show his disdain for organized crime and gangs which have been at the center of criminal activity in the Bahamas.

PM Davis added that the national security arms will be involved in the initiative, undertaking a 3-pronged approach, which includes ‘Clear, Hold and Build’.

PM Davis’s new approach to counter crime

The government of the Bahamas is hoping to employ a fresh new approach to tackle the crime wave that the nation has been experiencing in an attempt to refurbish its efforts and gain a foothold in the fight against criminal elements.

Prime Minister Davis explained the details of the plan, stating the following, “Put simply, our first phase is to ‘Clear’ out the gangs from our neighbourhoods. Our police, armed with new resources and resolve, will strike hard against these gangs. We’re not just disrupting them; we’re dismantling them.”

He added that criminals would no longer be shown any mercy, as they have not shown any mercy to their fellow citizens. According to him, those who have chosen the criminal route will face the might of the nation’s laws and be dealt with in a decisive manner to discourage criminal activity.

This move is a welcome one as the nation has been under the yoke of criminals, as is evident from the fact that the Bahamas have recorded eleven murders since 2024 began. Thus, in less than a month, it has become obvious to the government as well as the citizens of the nation that crime continues to be a serious problem for the nation.

This is why the government has been forced to take action, under immense pressure from the public and has made the decision to ramp up its anti-crime efforts significantly.

One of the key features of homicide cases in the Bahamas, as cited by Prime Minister Davis, are the clashes between criminal elements. He explained that a majority of cases have seen individuals with lengthy criminal histories being killed while they are out of prison on bail.

Interestingly, the perpetrators are also often among those who are out on bail, having been accused of similar violent crimes.

This is a major factor in the Prime Minister’s push for the denial of bail to those accused of committing murder, which will ultimately be down to the discretion of the judiciary system.

Prime Minister Davis gave his perspective on the matter, stating the following, “In my view, the prosecutors must likewise be more aggressive in appealing instances where bail is granted, and the elements I have just described exist.”

He also explained the anti-gang legislation that the government is planning to implement to arm law enforcement authorities with whatever it is that they need in the fight against crime in the nation.

He said, “We are going to introduce the toughest Anti-Gang Legislation ever. If you are associated with a gang, we are coming after you. If you have a lot of shiny things no way to explain your wealth, we are going to seize what you have.”

“But let’s be clear: this is not just about more police on the streets; it’s about smarter, strategic policing. We are targeting the hotspots, dismantling the networks, and choking off the lifelines of these criminal organisations.”

The Prime Minister is aware of the fact that as the process is initiated, it will at times, become an inconvenience to citizens. This is why he used the opportunity to appeal to the people of the Bahamas to become a part of the movement, bear with the inconveniences that might be caused to them and support the authorities in this vital initiative for the future of the nation.

“We are all likely to be affected by the more intrusive policing which is coming. We will not violate anyone’s civil liberties, but you are likely to be impacted by more roadblocks and unannounced police action.”

“This may make you late for your appointments or delay plans you have, but this is a small price to pay for the collective benefit of having our streets made safer and our lives less blighted by murder and other violent crimes.”

“We ask for your cooperation, support and trust as the police go about their business. Rather than complain about any inconvenience, maybe thank those officers who are working on our behalf.”

Even though the primary focus of the government and law enforcement authorities will be organized crime and violent crimes, the nation is also taking steps to counter social and domestic violence. This is being seen by many supporters of the incumbent party as a holistic approach to tackling crime in the Bahamas.

The Prime Minister assured citizens that these measures have been discussed in detail at the appropriate forums and will be brought into effect soon.

Opposition unimpressed by PM’s crime plan

The Leader of the Opposition in the Bahamas, Michael Pintard, was quite vocal about his reservations with regard to the Prime Minister’s new plan against crime in the nation. He was also sceptical of whether the new measures will be able to ensure the safety and security of citizens.

According to Michael Pintard, the Prime Minister’s new approach is no different from what the incumbent government has offered up till this point. In fact, he went as far as to insinuate that the Prime Minister had simply repackaged what has been the norm in the Bahamas in the recent past.

He gave the following statement in his capacity as the Leader of the Free National Movement (FNM), “Most residents tuned into [last night’s] remarks with hopes of hearing specific crime-fighting strategies to reduce the frequency and viciousness of violence, particularly in New Providence. Many Bahamians believe that we are in the midst of a crisis that affects not only criminals known to the police but also ordinary citizens trying to live peacefully.”

“Instead, they got a carefully scripted public relations speech in response to mounting public criticism of their silence. Residents got little comfort or hope this administration would take that swift and comprehensive action to lead other stakeholders in the urgent battle to win back our streets, homes and communities from the fear and flow of violent crimes.”

Pintard was resolute in the idea that the Prime Minister Davis led government had failed to address key issues since it took office three years ago, highlighting the fact that the nation had seen close to no progress in this regard despite the many promises made in the past.

He added that it was not in the interest of the nation for the Prime Minister to politicize crime. Instead, he hopes that Prime Minister Davis would show genuine concern for the citizens of the nation and bring into effect a holistic plan against crime that would bring a positive change.

Ana Allen
Ana Allenhttp://writeups24.com
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email contact@writeups24.com

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