Minister Darville Says Crime is Down in Grand Bahama

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville said that it has been confirmed by Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour that crime is down by 49 percent since September 2016 in Grand Bahama.

“And just last week, as reported by Commissioner Greenslade, serious crime has been reduced nationwide, the largest year-to-year drop since 2004,” Minister Darville added.

“While this news is most reassuring, we must not become complacent, but use this success as a motivational tool to work even harder and more diligently to ensure that our nation remains safe for all, and violent crime is eliminated from our society.”

The Minister for Grand Bahama was speaking on behalf of the Minister for National Security, the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, who was unable to attend the Royal Bahamas Police Force annual church service, which was held on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at Calvary Temple Assemblies of God.

The service was represented by all levels of law enforcement within the Northern Region, including the Police, the Defence Force, Customs, Immigration and the Road Traffic Department. Commissioner of Police, Ellison Greenslade and Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police in Grand Bahama, Emrick Seymour were in attendance.

During his address Minister Darville said that Swift Justice remains a hallmark of the Progressive Liberal Party administration’s approach to bringing criminals to justice.  The government’s holistic approach to combating crime and preventing it from happening has yielded positive results, demonstrated in the 2016 crime statistics.

“Through initiatives like Urban Renewal 2.0, we’ve ensured law enforcement has a consistent presence in our communities to address the needs of urban development and the empowering of our nation’s youth,” said Minister Darville.

“We’ve built the trust of community leaders to work with law enforcement, which resulted in an increase in apprehending offenders and bringing them to justice.”

He noted that far too often police officers are overworked and in many instances underpaid. This, he admitted, is a serious challenge facing the public service.

“The government understands the needs of our law enforcement agencies and officers and remains committed to ensuring that the people behind the badges and stripes are respected and have the tools necessary to get the job done,” added Minister Darville.

“Officers, oftentimes your work is unacknowledged, but know that it is never unappreciated and never goes unnoticed by many of us in the community you serve.

“We don’t say it often enough, but today, on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas and the people of Grand Bahama, to each and every single law enforcement officer present here ‘thank you!’  Thank you for the continued service to our community. Thank you for your continued dedication to protecting the lives of our people. Thank you for your continued sacrifice of the time you spend away from your family to ensure that the families of this country can live in a peaceful and a safe environment.”

Minister Darville noted that one of the most important aspects of a strong and progressive society is safe communities and the presence of competent, hardworking law enforcement officials to ensure the law is upheld and that the rights of citizens are protected.

He pointed out that since coming to office in 2012, the government’s focus has been on modernizing the Royal Bahamas Police Force. In that vein, he said the government purchased a new fleet of police vehicles, recruited over 450 new police officers, made provisions for the implementation of Closed Circuit Television throughout the major hot spots on the island of New Providence, ungraded the infrastructure of police buildings, IT systems and provided essential equipment in the Forensic Labs.

“Yet, there remains so much more to be done and the need to find new evidence-based solutions and technologies to reduce the stress levels of our officers and improve the negative effects they subsequently have on family living,” said Minister Darville.

During the service Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Emrick Seymour made financial donations on behalf of the police force to the Grand Bahama Christian Council and to Calvary Temple Church.

During Last Post and Reveille, Fallen Officers in all branches of law enforcement were remembered.  Standard bearers from each branch paraded in the church before the names of those who have passed away were read, and remembered.

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