In the wake of growing violent crime, Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday bashed the Christie administration for failing to fulfil its promise in reducing the high level of crime in the country.
“Amidst a plethora of campaign promises made five years ago, the PLP assured Bahamians that crime would subside under their watch. Yet after five years of empty rhetoric and broken promises Bahamians are being suffocated by a growing crime epidemic that at first this PLP Government insisted on downplaying and only lately have come to realize the gravity of the situation confronting our communities,” Dr. Minnis said.
In 2012, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) campaigned intensely on the fact that there were 492 murders under the FNM Government; while suggesting that once it became government, crime would decrease.
“Even today when the PLP uses terms like ‘perceived’ or ‘seems’ when it comes to increases in crime they are sending a dangerous message to our country, and a disheartening one to so many victims impacted by violent crimes,” Dr. Minnis said in a statement.
“Over the last five years, attempted murders, robberies and sexual assaults are on the rise and foreign countries have issued multiple travel advisories to their citizens. The PLP must understand that you can’t ignore a problem for the better part of five years just hoping it goes away and then turn around in the months before an election and expect people to trust you to fix the problems you were dismissing not too long ago,” he added.
Meantime, Dr. Minnis charges that the FNM does view crime as a political issue, and one that should surface during a political war.
“It is a central issue adversely impacting the daily lives of so many Bahamians. We believe it is incumbent upon us to have a comprehensive plan that will seek to reverse this trend. The people deserve to know what our vision is to turn back the growing crime epidemic. Our approach includes a litany of thoughtful, holistic reforms that seek to address the crime problem at its roots. Preventative measures, working to integrate local community leadership, police training and rehabilitation are the cornerstones of our blueprint for a safer and more secure society,” Dr. Minnis explained.
“The FNM will never ignore or belittle the issue of crime because we believe leaders should always listen to the concerns of the communities. We also believe a safe society is a prerequisite for progress, and fear is an obstruction that holds our children back from a brighter future – our aggressive plan will look to break through the challenges on crime that have infected our streets,” he said.
Last year the murder rate peaked at 146.
So far for the year, there have been nearly 40 murders.