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Bahamas: Nation Security’s Crime-Fighting Initiatives to Focus on Causes of Criminality Rather Than Symptoms



#Bahamas, November 13, 2017 – Nassau – Undersecretary at the Ministry of National Security Eugene Poitier said, on November 9, 2017, that although The Bahamas is noticing decreases in certain offenses, the murder count continues to be of particular concern, and the levels of violent crimes remain at levels far too high for “such a small nation as ours.”

“The fear of crime remains high, has the potential to stifle economic and social productivity, and impacts the quality of life of far too many Bahamians, residents and visitors,” Mr. Poitier said, as he spoke on behalf of Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames, at “A Symposium Connecting the Dots: Child Abuse, Trauma and Violence”, held under the theme “Working Together to Prevent Violence,” at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre.

Mr. Poitier noted that the level of violence has not gone unnoticed by the international community. For example, he said, in a 2016 report by the Inter-American Development Bank, its researchers noted that in The Bahamas, “…high levels of crime and violence have consistently risen during the past decade.”

“There is the realization that if we are going to have any measure of success and positively impact crime, our programmes must be designed to aggressively address the root causes and risk factors,” Mr. Poitier said.   “These factors include educational attainment, poverty, poor parenting and mental disorders, which are all having a profound impact on the socialization of our children.  This results in many of them turning to a life of crime.”

Mr. Poitier said that that Ministry of National Security will create multi-agency and multi-disciplinary crime fighting initiatives to address The Bahamas’ crime challenges and bring a greater focus to the causes or risk factors versus the symptoms.

“The Government has established an inter-ministerial group made up of the Ministries of National Security, Education, Youth Sports & Culture, Social Services, Public Works and Labour,” he said.

He added that the ministry is also expected to introduce shortly a holistic social initiative – national in scope – free from silos, that cut across ministerial boundaries and seek to “address those risk factors that are leading our young people to crime.”

“The ministry is expanding this multi-disciplinary approach to members of civil society to lend their expertise and experience to the crime fight at the national level,” Mr. Poitier said.

He noted that he had the opportunity to join Minister Dames in meeting with Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson of the Crisis Center, who shared details about the many programmes they have in addressing intimate partner violence and child abuse by encouraging victims to “stand up and not to just stand by.”

“Given the significant number of domestic related murders, we have decided to partner with Dr. Patterson’s team and others in a meaningful and more tangible way to lower the number of domestic violence cases in our country, thereby reducing the number of domestic-related murders,” Mr. Poitier said.

Ministry officials, he noted, had also had a series of meetings with Dr. David Allen and his team of experts, of the ‘People Helping People’ programme.

“We discussed one of his explanations on the causes of violence, which he described as the Social Fragmentation Process,” Mr. Poitier said.   This process, according to Dr. Allen, is manifested through revenge, which results in the disintegration of the family, the development of youth gangs and subsequently violence.”

“Since nearly 50 percent of murders involve conflicts and revenge killings, the Ministry will partner with Dr. Allen and other similar programmes that seek to intervene in the lives of troublesome males at a young age, with a view to preventing them from becoming socially fragmented from society,” he added.

Ministry officials also held discussions with researchers at the University of The Bahamas and explored ways in which UB can assist the Ministry in finding more evidence-based strategies to combat crime,” Mr. Poitier revealed.   They also expressed a willingness to assist us with evaluating anti-crime programmes to determine what impact they are having on crime and safety indicators, he added.

“The ministry is also establishing a Crime Advisory Group which will be made up of the business community, civil society, the religious community and other community partners, which will provide input and ideas on crime at the national level,” Mr. Poitier said.   “A Technical Advisory Group will also be formed where independent members of the public with special skills, will be able to provide advice directly to the Ministry on cost effective and innovative crime fighting technology.”

Mr. Poitier said that the on-going Citizen Security and Justice Programme will also be instrumental in seeking to address the level of violence in the nation.   The programme, he noted, is made up of the four following components: Crime and Violence Prevention in Targeted Communities; Youth Employability and Employment — increasing employability and employment of at risk youths between the ages of 15-25 years; Strengthening Prosecution Capacity; and Crime and Violence Prevention in Targeted Communities — reducing the recidivism rate which involves the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, so that, upon their release from prison, they are equipped to lead crime free lives.

Finally, Mr. Poitier said, the Ministry was on the verge of launching a new programme that also sought to address the level of violence in the nation.

“Funding in this upcoming Budget will be provided for various neighbourhood safety programmes which will involve community-based partners,” he said.   “The National Neighbourhood Watch Programme will form the basis of bringing the community even closer to the police and to work collectively on matters relating to crime prevention.”

“Such a Unit will set in place guidelines that will govern the operation of the programme,” he added.

Minister Poitier said that it would include CCTV, and citizen patrols and programmes geared toward at risk youths.   “We need all Bahamians to step up to the plate, and support the many initiatives that are ongoing,” he said. “We must all work together to ensure that The Bahamas becomes safer and more secure.”

By: Eric Rose (BIS)



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Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis’ Remarks at the COP28 Green Climate Blue Co Launch



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2023 – We are here today because we are short on time and even shorter on the resources needed to empower every nation in the world to respond to an increasingly dire climate crisis.

We are approaching the tipping point from which there will be no return. At our current rate, the world will cross the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold sometime within the next two decades.

The window of opportunity is closing.

But it is not closed yet.

And as long as there is even a small opening, just a sliver of time left for us to take action, there is still hope that we can save the world from the worst-case climate change scenarios.

I’ve travelled the globe representing Small Island Developing States like mine which have contributed the least to global carbon emissions but are already experiencing the worst effects of climate change.

Global inaction will soon threaten our continued existence as nations, but we will do everything within our power to avoid this outcome.

The Bahamas is here this week at COP 28 to invite the people of the world to partner with us and all vulnerable states to face this existential threat together.

As a region, the Caribbean has seen the results of our advocacy take shape in the form of the Loss and Damage fund to help us recover from the destruction already wrought on our nations. And we will continue to push for greater access to financing opportunities as we seek to protect our shorelines, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and invest in a renewable and sustainable future.

Through collaborative action, we will also create new industries and generate demand for novel solutions. Solving the world’s most pressing problems has always been good for business. We are entering an era of socially responsible investments, regenerative financing, and ESG finance. And the Caribbean is prepared to lead the way. In fact, if we want to continue to thrive as a region, we have no choice but to lead the way.

My country has been hit by four major hurricanes over the past few years. Over a third of our national debt is directly linked to the impact of storms, causing billions in damages that threaten the economic and fiscal health of our nation and people. With the situation projected to worsen at its current rate, we have gone all-in on making the necessary investments to solve our climate woes. Our future as a nation depends on it.

So, today, I applaud the Green Climate Fund for its efforts to support the developing world in creating climate-resilient pathways to a sustainable future. This is life-saving work.

With the approval of the application for preparation funds to finance the development of the Blue Co Caribbean Umbrella Coordination Programme, we fully expect to see new, effective solutions emerge for the people of the Caribbean.

The Blue Co  Caribbean project will provide the foundation for strategic investments at a scale not possible without embracing the spirit of cooperation and co-investment through this Caribbean-targeted, climate-focused investment opportunity.

Through this platform, Caribbean nations will be empowered to strengthen their blue economy frameworks and develop data-backed projects that can then be replicated and scaled across the region. My nation, as one of the world leaders in the research and development of blue carbon credits as a viable source of revenue generation, looks forward to the ways that Blue Co will strengthen The Bahamas’ mission to develop home-grown solutions that can fund a climate-resilient future for our people.

It turns out that saving the world isn’t just good for people, it’s also good for business.

Just yesterday, we were privileged to host a discussion on the Bahamas Sustainable Investment Programme, which will generate up to $500 million for climate-related investments. This is a testament to our commitment and resolve to generate our own innovative solutions to the climate crisis. And we are by no means standing alone.

Within the Caribbean, we have the passion, motivation, and expertise to drive the success of this initiative. There is no doubt in my mind that Blue Co can and will serve as a model for other regions to follow.

I invite all interested parties to reach out, get involved, and together we will save countless lives and livelihoods on our way to building a more resilient, renewable, and prosperous future for all nations.

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Bahamas Joins U.S. Embassy Test of Emergency Response  



#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – On Tuesday, November 21, U.S. Embassy Nassau conducted a successful emergency preparedness exercise with Bahamian security partners.

The exercise illustrated excellent coordination between the Embassy, Royal Bahamas Police Force, and Royal Bahamas Defence Force.  During the exercise, the security partners practiced responding to a hostile attack on the Embassy.  In addition to testing communications between partners, the exercise included mock arrests, the evacuation of Embassy staff, and emergency medical services to “injured” civilians.

These emergency preparedness exercises help evaluate the Embassy’s ability to protect its staff and installations during an emergency.  We want to thank our Bahamian partners for participating in the exercise and supporting emergency preparedness.  As our American founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”



Photo Captions

Header: U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement officers participated in a joint emergency response drill on Tuesday, November 21.

1st insert: The Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team joins the RBDF as it searches for suspects along Queen Street in an emergency preparedness exercise held on Tuesday, November 21.

2nd insert: The Royal Bahamas Defence Force conducts a sweep of Queen Street as a part of the U.S. Embassy emergency response drill.

3rd insert: A U.S. marine detains a gunman in a mock exercise held on Tuesday, November 21.

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Ashley Albury Marks A World YWCA First  



#TheBahamas, December 5, 2023 – For the first time in the global movement’s 168-year-old history, a Bahamian will serve on the World YWCA Board headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Ashley Albury, 25, was elected as a board member during the 30th World YWCA Council Meeting held this week.

Executive Director of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA Bahamas), Rosalie Fawkes, described the occasion as a “red-letter day” for the organization.

“I sincerely thank all of the YWCA women who have played a role in mentoring and supporting Ashley’s candidacy and we wish her well as she embraces this new opportunity for growth and development. May this occasion mark a renewed effort to continue building the membership and participation of our youthful population,” said Ms. Fawkes.

On the World YWCA Board as the second Caribbean representative is Adrianna Sosa from Haiti. Adrianna also made history four years ago when at the age of 19, she became the youngest member ever to be elected to the World Board.  Today she is running as a candidate for World YWCA Vice President.

It was in 2015 that Ashley wrote via Facebook to YWCA Bahamas inquiring about its program offerings.  That simple act eventually led to an active involvement in the life of the YWCA.

Ms. Fawkes added, “Ashley has successfully navigated the world of technology for the association; constructed our website –; established a YWCA Collegiate Chapter at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI); used her graphic design skills in newsletter preparation; served on the YWCA’s Board of Management;  built an archives and storage drop box in the clouds; became a faithful member of the YWCA’s Bible Study and Fellowship Group and recently joined the finance team at the YWCA – and all of this while continuing to further her education.”

Ashley said, “Being elected to the YWCA World Board as a Caribbean representative from The Bahamas fills me with immense pride and a deep sense of duty. This role is more than a position; it is a pledge to elevate and empower women and girls not just in the region but across the world. The unique perspectives and vibrant cultures of elected members will contribute significantly to the achievement of the YWCA’s mission and vision.”

She continued, “I appreciate YWCA Bahamas for nominating me and voting delegates for seeing me as a well-suited nominee. This is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and to represent the vibrant spirit and resilience of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas.”


Photo Captions

Header: Ashley Albury, 25, is the first Bahamian elected to serve on the World YWCA Board.

Insert: Pictured are past and current board members of the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA Bahamas). YWCA Bahamas Executive Director Rosalie Fawkes is seated in the center and Ashley Albury is standing at the far right.

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