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Cartwright: We are concerned about bloodbath on our streets

Shadow Minister of National Security Shanendon Cartwright yesterday slammed the Davis administration for what he said is its failure to tackle rising crime in the country.

“In Opposition, the government represented to the Bahamian people that they had all of the answers to address and combat crime,” he said in a statement.

“Well, they are now the government with the full resources of the state at their disposal, we join with all Bahamians in waiting for the government to emerge from their slumber and get the issue of crime under control.

“The police force is just one part of a larger machine dedicated to law and order in our society.”

There have been 99 murders for the year so far. The latest killing was of a British expat who was found dead in his Cable Beach home on Monday. Police have reported that murders for 2022 are up compared to the same period last year.

If murders continue unabated, 2022 is on track to surpass the 119 murders recorded in 2021.

The bloodiest year on record was 2015 when 146 murders were recorded.

Cartwright said, “As we approach the regretful milestone of 100 murders in our country in a single year, we are deeply concerned about the bloodbath occurring on the streets of the capital, while there seems to be no coordinated strategy by this administration to stem it.

“The harsh reality is while this government is somewhere trying to figure out what to do, the streets throughout the country seem to be drenched in the blood of more and more victims of violent crimes.

“Just about every day and sometimes within hours, Bahamians are being alerted on social media of another murder, robbery or sexual assault taking place in one of our communities.”

The St. Barnabas MP said one year into the Davis administration’s term the Bahamian people feel no more secure.

“While we applaud the work of the new police commissioner, we question the efficacy of calling for judges to limit bail to those who have been repeatedly accused of crimes but not yet brought to trial,” he said.

“This is a judicial, legislative and constitutional issue that the executive and Parliament must address.”

Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander recently expressed frustrations over individuals on bail who he said are committing more crimes, and questioned why they continue to be released.

The bail issue and legislative changes over the years have remained controversial given that suspects have a constitutional right to be tried within a reasonable period of time.

The judicial system has been plagued by a chronic backlog of cases preventing many suspects from getting early trial dates.

Many end up on bail. Police say this contributes significantly to high crime rates.