Backgrounder: Safer Bahamas

May 27, 2015 – Nassau, The Bahamas – Today, during his Budget 2015 address to the House of Assembly, Prime Minister Perry G. Christie launched Stronger Bahamas, a new, non-partisan national policy development, public engagement and communications initiative.

A key pillar of the initiative, Safer Bahamas, focuses on improving safety through crime prevention, ensuring the Swift Justice system is working for all communities, and improving law enforcement with unprecedented investments in policing.

Safer Bahamas will aim to reduce crime, provide counselling and support services for youth to prevent criminal behaviour, revitalize high crime communities across the country, and continue to reduce the backlog of cases before the courts through Swift Justice.

Crime prevention is one of the most important public policy issues facing The Bahamas today, and Safer Bahamas represents one of three top priorities for the Government.

Key Facts:

  • Whereas in 2013/2014 it took 344 days to progress from an arrest to the presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment, as of March 2015, that timeline has now been reduced to 50 days, an improvement of 86%.
  • 10 criminal courts are now operational, accelerating the administration of justice.
  • Overall crime decreased by 18% between 2013 and 2014.
  • Spending on public safety increased by 9% since 2012.
  • $20 million is being invested to address youth unemployment under Budget 2015.
  • Continued support for the Royal Bahamas Police Force, including investments in additional manpower and in material resources, such as new cars, surveillance and protection equipment.
  • $232 million is being put towards new vessels for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
  • Strengthening port security through investments in additional equipment to scan for weapons and other contraband. A Canine Unit is being implemented to help prevent banned substances in shipments that pass through ports, while a Marine Unit has been established to increase the patrol over private vessels in various ports.
  • 7,945 dangerous weapons were seized off the streets in 2014.
  • 230 CCTV cameras have been put in place in New Providence, specifically in crime hotspots.

Get Involved in Building a Safer Bahamas:

For more information on Stronger Bahamas and to participate in the online questionnaire, visit www.strongerbahamas.com

Get involved with Stronger Bahamas on social media by sending a WhatsApp message to 242-433-1066 and through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Contact:

Nikki Simmons

Press Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister

242-702-5542

 

About Stronger Bahamas:

Stronger Bahamas represents a new vision for the country. It is a new, non-partisan national policy development, public engagement and communications initiative. The program is designed to raise public awareness of the actions being taken and the progress being made against the country’s three most pressing policy challenges: reducing crime and improving the justice system; creating jobs and stimulating the economy; and improving education and modernizing social programs. At the same time, Stronger Bahamas invites all Bahamians to provide feedback on what else should be done to create a safe, prosperous and modern future. This feedback will be used to draft the National Development Plan.

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