Categorized | National News

Commissioner Becoming Political

A senior Free National Movement (FNM) senator is accusing Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade of becoming “too politically motivated” after he released unsubstantiated crime figures that claimed serious crime is down six per cent.

Commissioner Greenslade has attributed the decrease to the government’s Urban Renewal 2.0 programme.

Former Cabinet Minister and Marco City MP, Zhivargo Laing questioned how the police commissioner came to the conclusion that the government’s social programme is working.

“I respect and value police officers and I have high regard for those who lead them. I am, however, alarmed at comments I heard made by Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.  They appear to be quite political,” Mr. Laing said.

“After his minister of national security, [Bernard Nottage] said that dealing with crime is not going to be an overnight affair or a quick fix, Commissioner Greenslade declares that “Urban Renewal 2.0 is working.” Working based on what?  Working doing what? Working to push down houses, remove derelict vehicles or clear down bushes? These may be useful things to do, but are they bringing down murder, rape or robberies?  Is the commissioner of police saying that they are bringing down crime in these areas and if so, where is his statistics to support same?”

The Journal contacted Mr. Greenslade for comment yesterday but was told that he was out of office.
Mr. Laing is now questioning if the commissioner is under pressure from the Christie administration to serve them, given its promise to give the commissioner tenure once again.

“Would this not be the same kind of political influence that the PLP complained should not be a part of the commissioner’s situation?”

Mr. Laing said all of the police force’s initiatives to fight crime have been happening in the country for some time and to a certain extent, on a larger scale.

He said it is noteworthy that there are laws governing the demolition of houses, the removal of vehicles and the clearing down of bushes, especially where they relate to private property. 

“With the rate and somewhat indiscriminate nature with which this is being done, one has to question whether these laws are being followed by law enforcers,” the FNM senator said. “If we break the law, meaning commit a crime trying to fight crime, are we really becoming a better society?”

“If the laws are hindering us from fighting crime, then we should change them first and not break them to get our fix, otherwise, what stops the society from doing the same thing?  If a man steals from the thief who steals from him, is he executing justice and is that vigilante act making us better off? Mr. Greenslade is the man who is cleaning up the streets of the entire Bahamas and reducing crime all around. If these things can fix crime and work so quickly, why was the Commissioner of Police not doing them before?”

Mr. Laing questioned whether the commissioner has suggested in some way that the former administration kept him from doing the things he is doing now.

“Is the commissioner saying that his new initiatives are only able to be implemented now that the government has changed,” Senator Laing asked.

“Then what in heaven’s name was his published strategic plan all about? Is he admitting that his plan was ineffective and that only Urban Renewal 2.0 was needed all along? The commissioner produced the plan; he published it; and he was responsible for implementing it. Its effectiveness is one of the statutory basis upon which his performance would be judged.”

Mr. Laing said he is concerned about the commissioner’s posturing

“The commissioner has my full support in terms of fighting crime, but if he is going to sound political in his comments and public posture, I am going to call him out,” he said.

“A commissioner of police must work for peace at all times and under all circumstances. He must give his all no matter who is in power. This is what professionalism is. I can say that this appeared to be the public posture of former commissioners. As the murder count continues to climb, the commissioner says Urban Renewal, not his crime strategy, is working.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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