Categorized | National News

Gang Leaders Campaigning for New Members

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said yesterday that gang leaders in the country have racked up so much street credential that they now similar to charities in certain communities.

Dr. Nottage was addressing a small group of students and young professionals at the 2nd Annual Consultation on Youth, Crime and Violence.

According to Dr. Nottage, the leaders of these organised crime groups become friendly with some parents, giving them whatever they need but in turn making the young men in those families feeling obligated to join.

He recalled his encounter with one of those gang leaders as he campaigned in 2012.

“The famous gang leader in that area was going house to house just like me,” he said.

“I would go and ask for my vote, while they would go and ask if the families need anything. If they needed anything they would get it. That’s how they recruited young people and got their support. People talk about politicians buying ham and turkey for people. For the gang leaders, that’s small things.”

Parliamentarians recently passed a gang related bill in the House of Assembly, which, once it becomes law, outlines that those found in gangs will be taken before the courts.

“The penalty, if convicted of gang involvement is a fine of $500,000 and 20 years imprisonment,” Dr. Nottage said.

“The bill provides for a number of means in determining whether a person is participating in unlawful gang activities. These include the use of a name or word that is identified or is associated with an unlawful gang. A tattoo, other body marks, clothing or signs frequently associated with any of the people that constitute with unlawful gang or receiving any benefit from an unlawful gang falls under this as well. A person found in possession of a bullet proof vest, in association with an unlawful gang commits an offense and is liable to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment of 20 years.”

Dr. Nottage said gangs normally lead to an untimely death for the nation’s youths.

During the consultation seminar attendees were allowed to make recommendations to the minister on how they feel gangs can be removed from the country.

They were also given surveys and allowed to analyse data on gang violence in the country.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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