Categorized | National News

Urban Renewal Hits Bain & Grants Town

As the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) continues to tackle the country’s mushrooming crime issues, officers of the Urban Renewal Programme in Bain Town and Grants Town pounded the pavement in hopes of making their presence known in the crime ridden community.

Yesterday officers went through various pockets of the community, meeting and greeting residents and making note of derelict cars and dilapidated homes in the area.

Officer in Charge of the programme in that area Anthony Rolle explained why the government-launched initiative is so vital.

“We are walking through to take a first-hand look at some of the issues plaguing the community,” he said.

“As we walk about we have noticed that there are a lot of derelict cars and abandoned homes that criminals use to put their illegal weapons and their dangerous drugs in and we want to do a massive cleanup of that area. So we have invited these agencies so that they can see with their own eyes.

“Urban Renewal is important just like it is in any area because we know for a fact that the economy is bad as there is a lack of jobs and as we walk about in the areas we are encouraging the young men especially in this community.”

Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church Reverend Dr. Sammy Saunders not only works in the Bain Town and Grants Town area, he has been living there most of his life.

He said the Urban Renewal Programme is much needed.

“As a boy, I am very familiar in this area especially in Bain Town and I have seen a drastic change and it was not for the best. But thank God we have people that are coming around to see if they could stem the tide of crime,” he said.

Pastor of Church of God Reverend Patricia Rolle says she doesn’t only want to make over the area but the person as well.

“My outlook is that I am trying to change the man from the inside out,” she said. “We can beautify the outside, we can fix up the homes but unless we change the man from the inside out, we will go back to the old way of doing things. We are looking for transformation from the inside through talking, counseling and asking persons to come back to church because that is important.”

Some residents say they are happy with the programme.

Florence Bell, a mother, said she has had an issue with her home ever since a tree crashed into it last year.

A former employee of City Market, Ms. Bell said that she’s happy to see that help is on the way.

“I’m very happy to see that they are going to check on people to see what their needs are and helping them out in any area where they can. I have had this situation a long time and I am thanking God and I am grateful that they are able to help me out now. I thank God for them because they are really doing a lot to help the neighbourhood.”

Leroy Smith told the Journal that he has long been witnessing crime in the area.

“I wish that they would come around every day,” he said. “I want this crime to stop. I believe that they need to walk around more often – especially in the nighttime. All of these cars with the black tints need to be gotten rid of because people are pulling up black cars with black tints and shooting. Get rid of that first and everything would be okay.”

Arthur Wilson, another resident, has had it rough for some time.

He told the Journal that he was recently laid off and also got into a traffic accident which left one of his legs in a cast.

When officers visited his home, they found that there were broken wooden floors, windows and doors.

Mr. Wilson said the Urban Renewal programme is coming at just the right time.

“We really need Urban Renewal in this neighbourhood because neighbours are not helping each other,” he said. “So we need someone to get everyone together to make things better. I think urban renewal is the thing right now because since they’ve come in crime is slowing down around here. I don’t hear the gunshots in the night like I used to.

“I’m hoping that Urban Renewal will help me find a job so that I could stay out of crime because I don’t want to get caught up in that in this neighbourhood.”

Urban Renewal 2.0 was launched earlier this month. The programme is a partnership between the Ministry of Housing, the Department of Public Health, the church and civic groups.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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