#Bahamas, October 9, 2017 – Nassau – The Caribbean, as one of the world’s leading destinations is now also the world leader as a region, in its murder according to statistics from the United Nations. The shocking reality of the transformation of the region in recent years came during presentation by the National Security Minister, Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly last week.
CARICOM has long been advocating for help in fending off the escalation in gun crimes, and Minister Dames explained in his contribution that the Caribbean Community Regional Task Force on Crime and Security commissioned a report on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the islands.
“The report noted that a major factor contributing to the surge in gun-related criminality in the region is the trafficking of narcotics, which has facilitated the availability of firearms.”
Dames reminded of the plan to quell crime from the Speech from the Throne which includes, for The Bahamas, the establishment of a Gun and Gangs Unit, the establishment of a DNA Lab, the detection of financial, commercial and cyber crimes and enhanced training across Law Enforcement Agencies. The Minister said the Government is committed to deliver upon these commitments and shared that the Royal Bahamas Police has arrested over 269 people for an array of serious offenses ranging from murder to robbery between May and September 2017.
Police have seized over 125 illegal firearms and 5,316 rounds of ammunition and that during the same period, over 10,332 pounds of marijuana and 1,428 pounds of cocaine have been seized. Search warrants for drug house number 120 within the four months, 1,186 people have been searched and of the 627 individuals arrested for drug related offenses, 528 have been charged and placed before the courts.
Minister Dames concluded in House presentation with admission that despite these efforts, there is much more work to be done to curb crime in the country.