Categorized | National News

Nottage Renews Commitment For Marco’s Law

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said he remains committed to ensuring that legislation is brought to the House of Assembly before the end of the year that seeks to protect children from sexual predators.

While in Opposition, Dr. Nottage said such legislation will be called Marco’s Law.

His comments came following the death of 11-year-old Marco Archer, who was killed in September 2011.

Kofhe Goodman was found guilty on Friday of Marco’s death by a unanimous jury and the prosecution has already indicated that they are seeking the death penalty.

In light of the conviction, Dr. Nottage told the Bahama Journal over the weekend that he is still committed to “moving full steam ahead” with ensuring his wish becomes a law in The Bahamas.

“The commitment is to seek to provide legislative basis for the creation of a sexual offender’s registry and matters connected therewith,” he said.

“I am personally committed to it. I expect that over the course of the next few months we will develop the legislation in conjunction with those who are involved in the family courts and the Department of Social Services programme which is designed for families. It is my expectation that by the time the year is out we will at least have something before Parliament.”

The national security minister also said that he doubts there will be much opposition to such legislation.

“I also expect that in the near future we will pass that legislation and I will expect it to be known by the pseudonym Marco’s Law,” Minister Nottage said.

In May, Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin revealed that there has been a noted increase in crimes against children.
However, the minister who spoke to reporters outside of Cabinet could not give any figures.

Between 2011 and 2012 there were 1,300 reported cases of child abuse, which include sexual abuse, neglect, emotional and physical abuse.

The minister said it’s a situation that’s of great concern for her ministry, particularly those that go unreported.

“I don’t have the information at the tip of my tongue, but we do know that abuse against children is up,” she said at the time.

Goodman is expected to be sentenced in September.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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