Categorized | National News

Gov’t Making Headway In Creating Intelligence Agency

National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said the government is making some major headway in creating the country’s first National Intelligence Agency, which will link all arms of law enforcement in a bid to intensify the crime fight.

Living up to a promise it made on the campaign trail and later solidified in the Speech From the Throne, Dr. Nottage said this new body will do a great deal to improve the country’s intelligence gathering capability.

In fact, the national security minister said the agency would be akin to the United States’ Secret Services.

“We are very far along,” he said. “From the day we took office we’ve been working. We have an organisation called the Heads of National Law Enforcement Agencies which includes the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), Her Majesty’s Prisons, the Port Department, Immigration Department, Customs Department and we have been meeting on a regular basis.

“We are about to launch the National Intelligence Agency in the not too distance future. If we are going to protect tour borders, if we are going to reduce crime, if we are going to maintain safety and peace then we are going to need first class intelligence.”

Dr. Nottage added that it is crucial to the crime fight that the various arms of law enforcement –while carrying out their own tasks –are coordinated in some way.

But as it stands now, he said with the country’s police and defence forced, immigration and other arms operating independently of each other, The Bahamas is not maximising on its resources to beat out the criminal element.

“If each agency has its own intelligence and if each agency is collecting its own intelligence but they are not sharing it with each other, then we are really not working together,” he added.

“We’ve already found, just by having our meetings, we are discovering things about each other. But we found that they all (complement) each other.”

Dr. Nottage said it is unfortunate that Bahamians do not appreciate or know the quality of people the country has on the forces and the level of training they possess.

Linking these vital organisations, he said, will create a law enforcement that is to be reckoned with.

According to the minister, legislation is not required to link the defence and police forces.

Former RBDF Commodore Clifford ‘Butch’ Scavella will head the new National Intelligence Agency.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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