Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage stood his ground Thursday in support of decisions made by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) to remain mum on a spate of rape cases in New Providence.
While the RBPF came under heavy fire this week for failing to release reports of the rape incidents in eastern and western New Providence, Dr. Nottage said the force made a “judgment call” and it is to be respected.
“I respect it and I support it,” he said.
News broke Monday that in the last six months a number of women had been raped during home invasions in New Providence, but police failed to report the incidents to the public.
After being chastised by members of the public and the Opposition Free National Movement (FNM) for its silence, the RBPF – in an attempt to defend itself – noted that officers remained tight-lipped on the specifics to ensure that the interests of those violated were protected.
Dr. Nottage told the Bahama Journal, while critics lambaste the force and the government over the decisions made, it’s a situation that was suitably handled.
“Crime has a history in our country and there are certain types of crimes, that when they begin, police can almost predict what will happen and so when crimes like [rape] rear their head; while they may not make a public statement about what they do, I can assure you that they do seek to alert people who live in those affected areas so they are aware of what is going on,” he said.
Dr. Nottage said that this strategy ensures that panic does not spread unnecessarily.
“These criminals have habits and police often have a good idea about these crimes and the criminals that are carrying out these crimes. They know where they are likely to strike and how they will do so. In those types of instances police tend to go into specific areas being plagued by a certain type of crime and they alert persons in those areas about what is going on without creating what could be unnecessary panic for women throughout the country,” Dr. Nottage said.
While he supported the police’s handling of the matter, he noted that they obviously did something correct as a number of individuals, suspected to be connected to the crimes, were arrested.
Two men who were wanted for rape, armed robbery and burglary in eastern and western New Providence are in police custody.
Bulletins were previously released on 28-year-old Donnavon Sturrup aka ‘Tinman’ of Union Village and 32-year-old Enoch Eulin aka ‘Pumpkin’ of Excellence Estates in connection with the incidents.
The wanted bulletins were discontinued after the pair was taken into custody Tuesday evening.
Police officials are meantime asking anyone who may have any information in connection with any of the incidents to come forward.