Categorized | National News

Gangs Threaten Stability- National Security Minister Speaks Out

Gangs and other criminal groups are becoming an increasing threat to the country’s stability, according to National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage, who on Monday urged all Bahamians to do all they can to reduce opportunities for young people to be drawn into such activities.

Dr. Nottage was addressing the opening of a US Government sponsored anti-gang workshop at the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Headquarters.

“As minister of national security, I call on all parents, family members and all right thinking citizens and residents of this nation to encourage our young people to choose the path of civility,” Dr. Nottage told a packed of room of mostly law enforcement officers.

“Ensure that they are not crossing the line from law abiding citizens to budding criminals. And wherever you see signs of gang type behaviour, move immediately to seek assistance from the various agencies of the community, before they too become victims of mindless violence.”

The four-day-long anti-gang workshop gives local law enforcement officials an opportunity to collaborate with their US counterparts and receive gang investigation training.

Dr. Nottage said the workshop along with government initiatives like Urban Renewal 2.0 are crucial to ensuring that the country does not lose a generation to crime and the lawlessness it produces.

“With the implementation of Urban Renewal 2.0, our young people will be exposed to those activities that would result in the proper development of the future of our nation,” he said. “Character building blocks such as hard work, motivation, discipline, respect for the property of others, nurturing, role modeling and mentorship are but a sample of what we endeavour to see in those who are a part of the various Urban Renewal programmes.”

Acting US Chargé D’Affaires John Armstrong congratulated the government on recent gains in targeting and disrupting local organised criminal groups and pledged his government’s continued support toward these efforts.

Mr. Armstrong also reminded delegates that increasing transnational criminal enterprises pose a threat to all countries within the region.

“It is clear that the threat posed by gangs can only be addressed through the regional cooperation. The United States Mission to The Bahamas remains committed to supporting efforts made by the government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas in addressing the rising threats posed by transnational gang networks and we look forward to our continued partnership in reducing crime and violence in our region,” Mr. Armstrong said.

Dr. Nottage said that the 47-participants in the workshop will experience the impartation of information that should empower them to be more confident in the execution of their duties and he expressed his optimism that the conclusion of the workshop leads to a more vibrant approach to anti-gang violence and overall turnaround in the behaviour of those considered “at risk.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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