On the murder of six young males

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Hon. Philip Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Bahamians were horrified at the carnage that unfolded in the Chesapeake Road area on Thursday, 15 April 2021 in broad day light, claiming the lives of six young men.

My thoughts and prayers are with the survivors and I express condolences to the families of the deceased ones.

More pointedly though, the injuries sustained by a female and child in the massacre underscores the vulnerability and susceptability of innocent members of society to violent crimes.

National Security Minister Marvin Dames who has spent the better part of four years boasting about how he has significant reduced crime, must explain to the public how he intends to ensure public safety and security. He has to do more than just call the gunmen ‘cowards’ and ‘monsters’ and promise to bring them to justice.

Equally concerning and troubling are the backwater chats on social media, around the water cooler and in the public domain generally about the immediate events leading up to what appears to be a deadly ambush must be clarified by the National Security Minister.

Were the victims in police custody immediately prior to their untimely demise? Who would normally be privy to the release of wards of the state? What additional preventative and social engineering measures has the government implemented over the last four years? Important internal security and social issues of this nature must be adequately addressed and clarified if the government is to secure public support and confidence in its ability to manage and handle crime.

I raise the issue of crime prevention yet again because as I have said in the past, the multimillion dollar shotspotter technology is clearly reactive. The efficacy of the multimillion dollar drones remains to be seen. By the time the shots fired were detected or spotted, conveyed to a control center somewhere to a foreign country and relayed back to the Royal Bahamas Police Force for action, six people lay dead, two injured and the assailants made good their escape. In its wake, families are devastated and communities are left deeply shaken and vulnerable, trying to make sense of this senseless act of violence, while questioning the government’s ability to keep them safe.

Crime is a dynamic and complex social and economic phenomenon, therefore anti crime measures must not only be comprehensive, but more dynamic and proactive than the organized criminal elements seeking to counter them. All indications are that this ambush was well planned, organized and executed. Like mutating viruses, organized criminal elements constantly change their criminal methodologies in order to evade authorities.

We await a comprehensive policy and strategic response from the Minister of National Security.