Categorized | National News

$200 Million For Crime Fight

The Ministry of National Security’s efforts to fight a vexing crime issue, will be boosted this year with a budget allocation of over $200 million, of which a substantial amount will be used to purchase equipment to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime.

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said $213 million has allocated for recurrent expenditure, while $8.6 million will go towards capital expenditure.

The capital funding will be used for the acquisition and installation of an Integrated Ballistics Identification System, which Minister Nottage said will allow for the tracking of gun-specific information and assist in speedy analysis of bullets and casing recovered from crime scenes.

“This would help us if we seize a weapon and we have the information on the previous incidents involving weapons, we can then check the weapon against our database to check whether there is a correlation between crimes which have been committed in order to help us to solve these crimes,” Minister Nottage said.

“Once installed, it will have the potential to link with similar databases not only in The Bahamas but regionally and internationally.”

The funds allocated will also be used for the engagement of 120 police recruits and the acquisition of police equipment.

Some $3.7 million will be towards the acquisition, refitting and dry docking of patrol craft for use by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), in addition to engagement of an additional 120 RBDF recruits and 50 reservist officers.

Monies have also earmarked for the engagement of 53 reservist prison officers.

Provisions have also been made for the construction of a fire station in Grand Bahama at a $1.9 million.

Minister Nottage said his ministry is also working collaboratively with the Office of the Attorney General to implement an integrated justice solution, which would allow the sharing of critical criminal justice information.

Funds have also been set aside for the acquisition of closed circuit television (CCTV) in not only downtown but crime hot spots in New Providence.

“We are reviewing this whole business of CCTV from the perspective of trying to ensure one that we’re getting value for money and two that we’re getting the coverage that we really need. It seems like the concern is only for downtown and I understand why that is, with all of our visitors etc. But the truth of the matter is most of the hardest crimes are not done downtown, they’re done over the hill and they are done in the south, especially the southwest and the southeast,” he said.

But the government realises it cannot fight the crime problem alone.

It is taking an all hands on deck approach to solving the issue.

Minister Nottage revealed that he intends rent out the Church of God Auditorium and invited the public for an open dialogue on crime.

He also extended an invite to the Opposition to work with the government.

“The public needs to be able to trust its leaders. The public needs to be able to have confidence in its leaders, if we are going to be able to solve the problems that confront them. We have to find a way to let the politics take a little back seat for a while and let’s work together, let people see us working together, let people hearing us working together so that they can know that we are really serious,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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