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Police adding trucks to fleet as they boost patrols

The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) will add 100 trucks and 50 motorcycles to its fleet as it looks to “upgrade and improve” its saturation patrols in its fight against violent crime, Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said on Friday.

Fernander said the first trucks will be on the ground as early as next week.

“By mid-February, this will be in full swing,” he said of the increased patrols.

In addition to increasing patrols, Fernander said police will continue to target prolific offenders and wanted persons, carry out covert operations and take a more serious approach to policing minor crimes.

“There will be a zero [tolerance] approach to these minor crimes to avoid [these crimes escalating] and we fell down a lot with these same minor crimes where names are [being called] and we don’t pay attention and then it escalates to something different, and so it’s going to be a zero tolerance with respect to minor crimes,” he said.

As it relates to saturation patrols, Fernander said police have done their homework.

“We have already analyzed, we know where our hot spots are,” he said.

The new vehicles will be outfitted with GPS systems and will be monitored in the real-time crime center to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the saturation program, according to the commissioner.

Asked the cost of the new trucks, Fernander said, “It’s in the millions. You can’t put a price tag on security.

“If you want to protect your citizens, make it happen. I told them just sign the check and I’ll fill in the blanks because we are identifying the equipment … sign the check and we’ll fill in the blacks. It’s high in the millions.”

When asked yesterday if all of the trucks will be used on New Providence, a police spokesperson said the commissioner has not yet given any indication as to how the trucks will be distributed.


On Friday, Fernander also said the force intends to boost its numbers.

He said 20 recruits began their training on Grand Bahama and 100 on New Providence on Friday.

Recruits from the Turks and Caicos Islands will also be trained on Grand Bahama.

Additionally, the commissioner said, the force has added 100 reserve officers.

Fernander reported serious crimes decreased by two percent nationwide in 2022.

Crimes against the person increased by 23 percent, however.

Fernander said this is due to the uptick in murders, sex crimes and armed robberies.

Murders increased by eight percent, rapes increased by 15 percent, unlawful sex increased by 11 percent and armed robberies increased by 34 percent.

Property crimes decreased by nine percent due to a drop in house break-ins and stealing.

A total of 370 firearms were confiscated last year, including high-powered rifles.

Once again, last year, the vast amount of serious crimes took place on New Providence.

Fernander was asked on Friday whether police are doing enough to address the high level of violent crime.

“It’s just not the police,” he responded. “We are doing our part. There’s a number of other stakeholders that need to step up their game as well.

“We will continue to do our part and work with those other stakeholders to ensure that it happens, and the strategies are working.

“We have taken a number of persons off the streets. It’s clear, every day, you are seeing individuals being arrested. Look at the amount of firearms.”

Pointing to the weapons police had laid out at a press conference, the commissioner added, “This is just a portion of them, that we have taken off the streets, and we are charging individuals.

“Look at the results and the detection rate. Look at those numbers. We continue to do just that. It’s bigger than just the police force.

“And I love to just stay in my lane, but some other persons, that same question needs to be posed to them. Other areas need to step up their game.

“And I believe that we are doing an excellent job. We will continue to press on and take it to another level.”