Hitting back at FNM candidate and former Assistant Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames’ suggestion of putting metal detectors in the public school system, Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage noted that that avenue is not the way to go.
Dr. Nottage in his address at the close of the Progressive Liberal Party’s National Convention called Mr. Dames’ statement foolish, noting that it will not teach how to deal with problems.
“PLP’s putting metal detectors in our schools is neither a sensible nor an intelligent solution to school safety. I am surprised that a person who claims to be so smart can make such an asinine statement. How will metal detectors teach conflict resolutions skills?” Dr. Nottage said.
Dr. Nottage acknowledged that the country is dealing with violence in schools and suggested that things will be put in place to deal with such issues.
“We will renew our focus on our School Based Policing Program where officers will play an even more integral role in school safety and support he school’s administration.
“The Shock Treatment Program will also assist with keeping our schools safe as it will help young Bahamians who have strayed down the wrong path to become more sensitized to the consequences of deviant behavior,” Dr. Nottage said.
Noting that there needs to be something new or different introduced to deal with violence in schools, Dr. Nottage indicated that the government will put effort into finding ways to deal with crime, especially in young men.
“The government recognizes that we have to find more innovative ways in which to deal with crime. We know that our young men between 16-25 are typically the victims and the suspects,” Dr. Nottage stated.
He further noted that one of the initiatives by the government will be to renovate community centers across New Providence to take a different approach to helping and guiding the youth.
“Our PLP Government is in partnership with the IDB in renovating nine community centers in New Providence. They will be placed in communities where the level of criminality is particularly significant, where there is a need for preventative initiatives, where there are condensed populations and the poverty rate is high as evidenced in our Asset and Assessment Survey.
“We will take a community-driven approach which will require the active involvement of the community in guiding decisions, delivering services and participating in all programs,” Dr. Nottage said.
He further noted that his ministry will also support projects already in existence that attempt to find the root of crime
“The Ministry of National Security will support the expansion of existing projects that address the root causes of crime. One such project is The Family: People Helping People. The Family is a group therapy model spearheaded by Dr. David Allen that aims to facilitate cultural re-socialization of disenfranchised individuals through personal transformation,” Dr. Nottage said.
Community Centers that will be renovated across New Providence include Fox Hill, Bain Town, Grants Town, Centreville, Englerston, Bamboo Town & Pinewood, Nassau Village, Yellow Elder and Kemp Road.