Categorized | National News

Household Survey To Begin In Murder Prone Areas

In 2013, the majority of murders took place in the Bain and Grants Town, Centreville and Englerston communities, which is why the Ministry of National Security is beginning phase one of its household survey in those inner city areas.

The ministry will set out to gather statistics and information on living conditions, crime, social behaviour, special circumstances of households, employment status, education and persons with special needs.

“These areas were chosen based on their population density, perceived living conditions and the crime statistics for 2013. The crime statistics clearly demonstrated that there were more murders committed in these three areas than any other in New Providence,” said National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bains Town and Grants Town.

“We want to pay attention to abandoned buildings and homes that are plagued by vandalism, which tend to be used to facilitate the sale of drugs, prostitution and other illicit activities. We are also seeking to review the state of rental properties in these areas, to ensure that landlords are providing safe and decent housing for the poor or persons with little means. We also want to identify each and every person with disabilities and ensure that they receive the care and attention, which is required for their well being.”

During a news conference on Wednesday, Dr. Nottage noted that over the past two weeks, the government has hardened its approach to dealing with crime.

As a result, he said his government has acquired additional vehicles and intensified saturation patrols in the inner city communities. A Flying Squad has been activated to better monitor prolific criminals and intelligence gathering capabilities have been enhanced.

“The Firearms Unit has been fully resourced and has been extremely successful at retrieving guns from tips provided by the general public. More manpower has been brought to the frontlines using police reserves,” he said.

The national security minister also noted that areas like Bain and Grants Town, Centreville and Englerston were once “the life blood of our city.”

“It was never meant for these areas to be so densely populated or for the living conditions to be in the current state, but they are and we must find ways to provide better living conditions and to reclaim the deteriorating areas of these communities,” he said.

“We intend to visit each and every household in these constituencies and questions will be posed to the head of each household or the adult person who is at home at the time of the interviewer’s visit.”

The questionnaire entails two parts. The first relates to the social and economic conditions and the second to the concept of crime in their communities.

The inspector in charge of the four Urban Renewal offices in the aforementioned constituencies will supervise the administration of the survey.

The data, Dr. Nottage said, will be collected by individuals who are familiar with the communities. They will include trained social workers, officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), who are normally assigned to the Urban Renewal Offices and individuals from the communities.

This first phase of the survey is expected to be completed within a six to eight-week period, after which other areas will be surveyed until the process is completed.

Dr. Nottage asked members of the public to fully cooperate in the exercise.

“It would be appreciated if residents would express their views frankly and relate their experiences as best they can, so that the information collected is as accurate as possible. We are seeking to gather information so that government’s interventions are focused and meet the real needs of individuals and households in the communities,” he said.

“People often suggest that the government already knows what the problems are in their communities. The truth of the matter is, that, while we have interacted with persons in the communities, and can give an overview of the major concerns, what we are now seeking to do, is to collect data and have it properly analysed, so that we can more effectively utilise the resources that are available to government in targeting issues facing these communities.”

Once the data have been analysed, the government will use it to address the needs of residents in order to bring more targeted and comprehensive relief to the communities, reduce criminal activities and improve living conditions, the minister said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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