Categorized | Featured, National News

Minnis Gets Tough on Crime

PM MINNIS NATIONAL ADDRESSGood policing, along with an efficient judicial system, combined with community guidance, economic and educational training opportunities will reduce the scourge of crime in The Bahamas, according to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

While most of the violent crime in the society is caused by young men, Dr. Minnis said during his first national address last night that the government is committed to providing the necessary resources to help young people make better decisions.

“We must invest in them before they go astray,” he said.

“We came to office faced with a known challenge. Too many of our young people are caught up in the vicious cycle of crime and violence.   We have already had 80 murders this year.”

The prime minister pointed out that the crime problem the country faces today was set in motion by the sins of the past which goes back to drug trafficking during the 1970s and 1980s.

“Leaders chose corruption and fast money over the best interests of our people,” he explained.

However, he admonished that citizens must restore the productive values of Bahamian culture.

“I intend to lead that fight by ensuring there is honesty in government; that there is fairness in contracting; that public service promotions are based on merit; and that the corrupt are no longer able to use power to protect themselves from the law,” Dr. Minnis said.

“I do not accept that any group of Bahamians should have special protection. We are a nation of laws.  All Bahamians should follow those laws or face the consequences of transgression.”

The prime minister announced that the government will introduce a number of ambitious social intervention and training programs to help transform the prospects and lives of those in gangs or those minded to criminal behavior, even as the government remains tough on crime.

“Those who are open to being helped, will be helped.  But those who decide on a life of crime, and who seek to do violence, will feel the full weight of the law,” he said.

While Dr. Minnis did not comment specifically on cases concerning alleged bribery and corrupt practices by public officials, he said individuals should be treated equally before the law.

“If judicial or police officials do not have the requisite paperwork necessary to charge any citizen, regardless of standing in the country, that individual should not be charged until the appropriate time,” he explained.

“If all people deserve to be treated equally before the law, I find it disturbing that some people believe that politicians in the Bahamas should be above the law and should not be held accountable for misfeasance or misdeeds while in office.

“Around the world, politicians are often charged for certain crimes and when found guilty they pay the penalty for such crimes.  Political leaders next door in the United States of America regularly are charged and found guilty of certain crimes.

“Bahamian politicians are not so special that we should be exempt from the rule of law.  This includes members of my party and my government.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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