Categorized | National News

Fear of Crime Deepens

The fear of crime in New Providence is seemingly deepening as a result of the recent carnage recorded over the past few weeks.

Police have been called to the scenes of numerous armed robberies, shootings and murders in recent days prompting residents in the capital to reportedly take extra precaution in their day to day activities.

The murder count now stands at 37 with the majority of them occurring in over-the-hill communities.

Of the last six murders, three of them took place in the Englerston constituency.

Englerston residents have since expressed fear and concern for their safety after the three shooting deaths which came just days apart.

Wellington Smith who has lived in the area for more than 40 years said crime levels have increased in the area.

“It’s really disappointing because it never was like that but it just picked up, I’m not happy about it at all, safety is my primary concern and the concern of everybody,” he said.

A pregnant woman and mother of two who wanted to remain anonymous, fearing retaliation for speaking out, also weighed in on the issue.

“Crime is very bad in the area, we have a lot of thieves around here, my car already got broken into before, I had two cars and this is the second one to get broken into,” she said.

“This affects me a lot because I can’t buy anything or put down anything in this yard without someone coming and trying to steal so I’m really concerned about me and my children’s safety. We need a lot of police in this area to watch out for these thieves and these killers; we got people who live on the side of us now who tote guns.”

Another woman who also wanted to remain anonymous said each day, she moves through her area on edge, fearful of the criminals’ next move.

“You have some boys who just want to snatch your purse and you have to move out the way before they kill you,” she said.

“The police need to come when you call them because I had my laptop that was stolen, I don’t see why I should be buying these things over and over for people to be stealing when I am a woman who already need assistance,” she said.

According to reports from the public, the shootings could be related to a turf war, however, Police Press Liaison Officer Superintendent Stephen Dean assured that the investigations into the shootings are in its initial stages and reports of turf wars are only rumors at this point.

“Like any other communities, police are concerned about what we have seen in the past couple days, in particular this community,” he said.

“We have put some initiatives in place to increase our presence in these areas, we increase all angles, all hands on deck as we have increased our intelligence base, and we have increased our relationship with the public. We realise that this cannot be a police fight alone so we are engaging members of the public, we’re looking at our religious leaders who can be at the forefront in getting to help us to reach particularly the young men in the area, we don’t want to see our young men just being shot down.”

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin said that the number of guns on the street is creating a challenge and contributes to the neighborhood’s crime woes.

“We have to understand what it is that is causing it, why is it concentrated in communities like this and others and what is it that we as a country can to do to alleviate and counteract what we are seeing?” she asked.

“One of the things is, there are a lot of guns and we have to figure out how we can successfully interdict illegal firearms in our country. I’m very concerned about that, it’s creating a whole new culture and atmosphere, people at night are hearing gunshots regularly and that creates fear, we have to get on top of this issue.”

The country has recorded two more murders at this point than it did at the same time last year.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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