Although the murder count continues to soar, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade told reporters yesterday that overall serious crimes are down by six per cent.
The murder count stood at 75 up to Monday.
Mr. Greenslade said only armed robbery is up marginally and police have been able to foil a number of attempts to commit serious crimes.
“It’s simply because we are out in the frontlines trying to make things happen,” he said.
“We’ve always contended that if officers are emerged in communities, the response is quick and there is a good chance that we can wrap things up quickly and that is what you see happening.”
The commissioner said the force has managed to stay two steps ahead of would-be criminals by constantly changing tactics.
“It goes towards the idea of saturation patrols and getting as many uniformed and unmarked vehicles to the frontlines as possible,” Mr. Greenslade said.
“We are changing the way we do business. In a previous model, we have had two marked police cars at a given station. Those cars might sit there for an hour or two. I have looked at that and said maybe we should have those cars in mobile patrol to have them active at all times. So now you have two more cars on your streets. I have looked at the whole force and I have done that. So we have a lot of people and a lot of patrols on the streets consistently and it has produced good results.”
In addition, the police force’s rapid strike has also yielded positive results.
“Rapid Strike is still doing good work whenever they are minded to deploy as Rapid Strike. We are launching additional mobile patrol cars. Urban Renewal 2.0 is active, our selective enforcement teams are active and our special units are active – those [include] units like the firearm tracing and investigation unit and our digital investigations unit. So you can have police officers coming at you from any particular direction now,” Mr. Greenslade said.
He added that the launch of Urban Renewal 2.0 has also played an integral role in police nabbing and charging criminals.
“Urban Renewal 2.0 is really providing good results for us,” Mr. Greenslade said. “We had a very difficult period in the beginning of the year and we see now a distinct change as to what is happening. We have arrested a number of prolific offenders and those persons are still incarcerated and that is also the reason why things have been a little bit quiet.”
He continued, “If you drive our communities on a daily basis and you observe for yourself the fantastic work that is being done by Bahamians and police officers, it would leave you in a state where you would marvel. As a police officer I have not ever seen that level of excitement that I now see in communities. It’s got to touch you in a warm spot.”
There have been a number of recent police related shootings but Mr. Greenslade said they were all justified.
“If a member of the public is in possession of an illegal gun, pulls that weapon, points it in the direction of a police officer or attempts to shoot a police officer you are going to have a situation where the police pull their weapons,” he said.
“The commissioner is not going to interfere with the discretion of a police officer who feels that he or she is under threat to respond as per law. So I look at the amount of weapons we have taken off the streets to date – 318 and over 5,000 rounds of ammunition and if you look at the number of police shootings against that – it’s insignificant. If you take the shootings in isolation that you would perceive that you have a problem, but I don’t think so.”
Nevertheless, Commissioner Greenslade said he believes that a good relationship will continue to develop between the police and the community.
“We are doing the right things and we are going to continue to do the right thing,” he said.