Former cabinet minister and Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney yesterday blasted the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) decision to seek the public’s help in the crime fight. He said the government should be providing Bahamians with answers to fight crime, not calling on them for help.
Last week, National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage announced that his government was taking an all hands on deck approach to solving crime.
In fact, he said he intends to rent out the Church of God auditorium and invite the public for an open dialogue on crime.
The crime forum is expected to galvanise the efforts and brainpower of police, community leaders and the wider public in hopes of fighting crime head-on.
The country has recorded 66 murders so far – six more than recorded at this same time in June 2011.
Mr. McCartney responded directly to the PLP’s call for a crime forum.
He is now calling on the government to provide Bahamians with a more tangible and aggressive approach in the nationwide fight against crime.
Since winning the government on May 7, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has been faced with the mammoth task of nipping crime in the bud, but according to Mr. McCartney the government has done little to nothing to abate the rising crime wave.
“This is a crying shame. On the campaign trail they criticised the Ingraham administration in their colourful television ad and told the Bahamian people that the PLP had a plan to fight crime.
Once again, the PLP fooled the Bahamian people into believing that they were ready to govern and get crime under control,” Mr. McCartney said.
The DNA leader says that the PLP has been all talk, but no action.
“From 2007, Dr. Nottage chaired the House of Assembly’s Crime Select Committee and has already gone through the process of interviewing and meeting with many of the key stakeholders in the community, including pastors and business owners, on this issue of crime. So, in addition to the countless number of forums held and committees formed to address crime over the past five years,” Mr. McCartney said.
“Dr. Nottage should be in possession of enough information to come up with a comprehensive plan to fight crime by now. He does not need to play this charade by calling any more meetings.”
He continued, “If this administration was prepared to govern from day one, the Bahamian people should be seeing it by now, particularly on this crime issue. What exactly are their plans? The DNA feels that the recent call by Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard Nottage, for another national crime forum is just one more in serious of stall tactics that will have no impactful end or outcome.”
While the DNA has chastised the Christie administration for, “dragging its feet on crime,” it is not remiss in providing its own solutions to curb crime levels.
“The DNA intends to forward Dr. Nottage a copy of its National Crime Plan that was produced after its own meeting with the Bahamian people on this issue last year July. We invite Dr. Nottage and his PLP crime fighting team to look at the plan in their search for solutions,” Mr. McCartney said.
“By now the Christie administration should be proudly unveiling its well thought out plans on crime going forward and not calling on Bahamians for help.”