Categorized | National News

New Crime Legislation Expected

The new Christie administration is planning an all out attack on crime and outlined its plans in the “ambitious and extensive” Speech from the Throne on Wednesday.

During the Opening of Parliament ceremonies yesterday, Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes delivered the 24-page speech in Parliament Square.

With crime and violence one of the major challenges confronting The Bahamas today, reducing violence and crime to build a safer Bahamas is one of the two main focuses of Prime Minister Perry Christie’s agenda.

“My government will create a National Intelligence Agency comprising all law enforcement departments to address all categories of major crimes on a co-ordinated basis and with a greatly improved intelligence-gathering capability,” the governor general read.

“My government will also develop a National Firearms Control Strategy and establish a proper Firearms Department and Database. My government will also re-introduce the Swift Justice Initiative to ensure the timely prosecution of cases and reduce the number of persons released on bail for serious crimes.”

During the Speech from the Throne Sir Arthur also read that the Christie administration also plans to reinstate and expand the Urban Renewal Programme to serve as a core instrument to combat the underlying social causes of crime and violence.

“My government will establish an Urban Renewal Commission to facilitate inter-agency collaboration and coordination in the delivery of services to the community,” Sir Arthur read. “My government will, as a matter of high priority, introduce a national Crime Management Agenda comprising effective prevention, detection, prosecution and rehabilitation.”

According to the speech, the Christie administration plans to repeal all of the provisions of the Police Act which are unconstitutional or attempt to politicise the Royal Bahamas Police Force or undermine the impartiality and security of tenure of the commissioner and deputy of police.

“My government will also re-introduce, as a matter of the most urgent priority, the Witness Protection Programme so as to ensure that key witness and their families are protected,” the speech continued.

“My government will also move to amend the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to assist young and first-time offenders in embracing a life founded on the values of honesty, hard work and respect for the life and property of others.”

According to the speech, plans are also underway to re-introduce school based policing to curb school violence as well as re-vitalise the Tourism-based policing initiative to enhance visitor safety.

The Christie administration also reaffirmed its determination to more effectively police The Bahamas’ borders against illegal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal firearms and poaching.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) will also be re-equipped and re-positioned to more effectively combat these “menaces.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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