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More than 2,000 young people attending the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Summer Youth Camps will dine on the generosity of Bank of The Bahamas. The donation - gifts cards for lunches and snacks from Phil's Food Services - was made during a recent presentation at BOB's head office with representatives of all nine RBPF summer youth camps throughout New Providence.
"We're extremely grateful to have the support of Bank of The Bahamas, especially since the program has been extended from four weeks to six weeks this year," said camp coordinator Inspector Chrislyn Skippings. "Our goal this year is to provide positive activities in keeping with our POLICE 2012 policing plan and the bank's donation will help sustain the programs we're currently implementing for the children."
This is the third year BOB has supported the summer youth camps, which help students gain respect for themselves and others through well-structured activities which demonstrate the rewards of hard work and dedication. This year's sessions in neighborhoods throughout New Providence kicked off on July 2 with a march to Police Headquarters, where more than 2,000 participants were divided into their various camps, based primarily on the police division in which they live. Each camp location averages 220 participants and operates from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.
Free for all participants, the RBPF Summer Youth Camp is open to boys and girls between the ages of 8 to 17 and focuses on spiritual, cultural, educational, sports and community development. Participants attend field trips, enjoy art and crafts, sports and community outreach and learn about Bahamian history, the environment, first aid, crime prevention, gang violence and conflict resolution.
The summer camp's rich history began in 1993 when Police Commissioner Bonamy and Superintendent Allerdyce Strachan gave birth to the concept of cops helping kids and communities.
The RBPF will host a talent extravaganza at the Performing Arts Center on August 3, to showcase what the participants have learned throughout the summer. The camp concludes on August 10.
"We are very proud to support the Royal Bahamas Police Force summer youth camps once again and for the first time to support all nine divisions," said Vaughn Delaney, BOB's deputy managing director. "These camps provide healthy, wholesome activities with good role models for thousands of young people, many of whom may have been idle with little to do this summer. We know too that a lot of volunteer time goes into this effort and it is all in keeping with the bank's commitment to assist where we can to support national development through supporting youth, education and law enforcement in creating and maintaining a real sense of community."
According to Inspector Chrislyn Skippings, the bank's contribution is making an important difference.
"For some of these young people, the meal they get at camp is their only hot meal of the day. In fact, we had a call one day from a mom who said her child could not make it to camp that day, but she asked if it would it be possible to pick up her food. We don't realize how much this means to many people and we are really grateful to Bank of The Bahamas."
The following is a Communication by Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham, Prime Minister on the Anti-Crime Legislation Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill.
I wish to advise of the tabling for First Reading, a number of Bills.
Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill
Amendments proposed to the Criminal Procedure Code will when enacted:...
Scores of children watched as an Augusta Street man was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital around 1:30 p.m. yesterday, seemingly unfazed by the violence they had just witnessed.
The man, who was wanted by police in connection with several serious crimes, was shot by an officer during a stand-off, police reported.
Director of the Crime Prevention Office Superintendent Stephen Dean told reporters at the scene that the man, known by area residents as “Bear”, pulled a gun on an officer who was attempting to question him.
Dean said police were on patrol in the area when they received information from concerned citizens about two wanted men.
As a result the police stoppe ...
By MEGAN REYNOLDS
Tribune Staff Reporter
HALLOWEEN can turn from fun and games to a frightening reality when criminals use the occasion to pounce on unsuspecting victims, police warn.
Throwing eggs and flour can escalate into the pelting of rocks at people and vehicles, and masked costumes can be used by criminals to gain access to homes or attack residents, Police Sergeant Anthony Rolle warned in a press conference at the Crime Prevention Office yesterday.
"Halloween can be a fun time for kids, but it's also a time for us to be very vigilant," said Sgt Rolle.
"Throwing eggs, we have found, has sometimes escalated to throwing rocks, with peopl ...
In a swift response to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's national address on crime, the Progressive Liberal Party said in a statement last night that while some of the plans announced are "perfectly reasonable" and will find support from the PLP, taken as a whole "they are woefully inadequate, far too little, far too late".
"Most perplexing was the tone adopted by the prime minister as if he had just taken office, rather than having presided over the dramatic escalation in crime over the last four years," the PLP said.
"Is he just now discovering that witnesses need protection, that crime prevention programs must be properly funded and that the severity of the crisis demands engaged leadership?"
The PLP said it believes The Bahamas deserves a government focused on fighting crime all the time, not just at election time.
"The prime minister was vague when he needed to be specific, weak when he needed to be strong, and offered watered-down proposals when fully-funded efforts are needed," the statement said.
The PLP pointed to Ingraham's announcement that the government will immediately allocate $1 million for urban social intervention programs.
"Let's put that number in perspective," the party said.
"The FNM government spent $5.8 million on the Miss Universe Pageant -- but with an entire generation at risk, he offers $1 million? Almost six times more on Miss Universe alone rather than putting young Bahamians first."
The statement added, "After raising taxes during tough times, which made the recession worse, after delaying projects for political reasons, resulting in lost jobs, and after failing to put Bahamians first at the bargaining table, the prime minister offers Bahamians a lecture.
"It's time for a government that believes Bahamians are the answer, not the problem."
The PLP said its approach is tougher, and more holistic.
"The PLP believes an holistic approach is necessary to fight crime: prevention, prosecution, punishment and rehabilitation," the statement said.
It added, "On the matter of increased sentences for firearm possession, we have proposed that the possession of high-powered weapons should be tried in the Supreme Court, allowing greater sentencing power than the approach suggested by the prime minister.
Ingraham said last night that after November 4, anyone convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition will, upon conviction, be imprisoned for a minimum of four years.
"I highlight the fact that the power of magistrates to impose sentences is being increased from five to seven years and that conviction on drug and gun related offenses may attract the maximum sentence of seven years," Ingraham said.
The PLP noted that the government intends to establish three years as a reasonable period to hold a person without trying him or her.
"The overall effect of the PLP's Safe Bahamas plan is that murders will be tried within 12 months," the statement said.
"Under the Swift Justice initiative, the PLP was able to conduct a preliminary inquiry and subsequent murder trial within 12 months. We did it before and we will do it again."
The statement added: "The PLP believes that we must be able to intervene directly into the cycle of revenge killings, with specially-trained violence breakers.
"Not a word from the prime minister on combating this vicious cycle. The FNM apparently disagrees. The PLP has proposed increased funding for drug rehabilitation, safe havens created by the police in conjunction with the clergy, saturation patrols in crime hot spots, and increased surveillance of repeat offenders. Nothing from the FNM on these matters -- silence."
The PLP claimed that it is the only party with the expertise and the will to see a fully-implemented urban renewal program.
As of September 3, police officers will once again be placed in public junior and senior high schools throughout the country on a full-time basis, police and education officials announced yesterday.
Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said the government is going to take a "zero tolerance" approach to school violence.
"We in the Ministries of Education and National Security adhere to the old adage that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure," he said during a press conference at police headquarters attended by numerous stakeholders.
Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said at the same press conference that police are drawing a line in the sand as officers have been given a mandate to root out possible criminal activity.
"If an officer has reasonable grounds...to suspect that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, the law gives police that right to take action," said Greenslade.
"We're not only concerned about what's going to happen on school property but what happens to and from school.
"And we send the clarion call to all [that] if you feel that you will be able to interfere with school students to and from school, you are going to be making a mistake."
Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson, who also attended the press conference, said she is pleased that police will be permanently reinstated in schools.
"The police [are] not only going to be there for crimes," she said. "They are going to be there to help with conflict resolution. They will be able to identify some of the problems prior to the problems happening. You will have intelligence on the ground in the schools because when you talk about a cutlass-wielding child, when you talk about the child that was in the altercation over the weekend and gets to school early on Monday and stashes a gun, a knife, a cutlass, that's not the teacher's job.
"[That's what] we're seeing. That isn't anything new. We've been seeing it. So...if the police are there and they are able to complement the security officers, then that should help to cut down the incidents that we've been seeing."
Minister Fitzgerald said the school-based police officers will also be responsible for developing positive relationships with school stakeholders and establish protocols for the prevention and investigation of all school related occurrences of violence and criminal activities.
The original school policing program launched by the previous Christie administration was abandoned by the Ingraham adminstration shortly after it came into office in 2007.
Instead of maintaining their presence on school grounds, officers were stationed outside of schools during peak hours.
But Fitzgerald said the presence of officers will restore calm in public schools and eliminate some of the fear that exists today.
Police were unable to give statistics on incidents of school violence yesterday.
A special two-day training seminar will be held next week at police headquarters for officers and key school officials involved in the program.
A total of 176 youngsters are currently participating in the Central Andros Crime Prevention Youth Camp, which got underway last month. The camp is held daily between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., with a base at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. There are also activities at the Wulff Road Boxing Square. Camp organizer James 'Killer' Coakley said that the main goal of the camp is to uplift the spirits of the various campers and keep them off the streets, thereby producing a safer Bahamas. Coakley is appealing for assistance from the government, particularly the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, for the upkeep of the camp. He thanked contributors Basil Neymour and John, James and Merton Musgrove for their assistance so far.
Photo by Kyle Smith / TNG
In announcing the launch of Urban Renewal 2.0 at police headquarters on Monday, June 4, 2012, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade was quoted by reporter Dana Smith of The Tribune as saying, "Many of the murders that we recorded to date are a result of arguments. I am ashamed to tell you, arguments over women, females, where young men are feuding over females."
He further stated that "yes drugs is causing a lot of our problems, but a lot of our problems with our young people stem from these relationships that do not work right".
If the commissioner of police is correct about what he thinks is the cause of the record-breaking spike in our country's murder rate today, then it points to a spiritual problem which cannot be solved by police or any other law enforcement agency. This calls for more direct support of churches and para-church organizations that are actively running programs that affect the spiritual fabric of our nation. Police and other law enforcement agencies are employed to enforce the laws of the land, and are not expected to become social and religious counselors at the flip of a switch.
According to the report in The Tribune on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, the commissioner stated the following: "This is killing us and it's causing our people to die. We are going to have to make that intervention. We're going to have to get right up in their faces and say: 'You're a bigger man than that and I hear you're feuding over this girl - let it go.' And maybe take him for a drive and have a man talk." This sounds more like the job of a local pastor or social worker but not a police officer. I think we need to acknowledge the important role of the church in assisting with the solution of this national crisis. Yes, Urban Renewal 2.0 calls for the involvement of local pastors in its multipronged approach to crime prevention, but there is no talk of financial assistance to pastors who may be called upon to spend many long hours counseling young people. If the problem is considered to be a national crisis by the prime minister, then resources should be made available to the churches that are already in the fight against crime. Ultimately, we in the church believe that unless there is a change in the heart, by a personal relationship with Christ, no amount of policing can stop a criminal from committing a crime.
Now that the heat of the political campaign is over, it should be clear to all that the solution to crime is not found in the change of government policies. Crime should never be used as a political football, and as was stated by the new minister of national security, we should not expect to see any immediate change in the murder rate because of a change in government.
This has already been borne out by the recent record-breaking number of murders committed in a single month, since May 7, 2012. In this regard, it would be safe to say that apart from murders stemming from relationships, mentioned by Greenslade, murders committed since the change in administration have been associated with gang warfare and persons waiting to testify in other murder cases, and committed by individuals out on bail.
- Pastor Edmund Dorsett
CRIMINALS are always looking for a quick opportunity to steal a vehicle. By taking the following precautions you can prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
Never leave your keys in your car, always lock your car, never leave your car running.
Never leave personal belongings visible (for example laptops, iPods, phones and other such items).
Park in well-lit areas; park in attended lots and leave only the ignition/door key with the attendant.
Completely close your windows when parking; turn wheels to the side in driveways and parking lots; disable your vehicle when leaving it.
Etch your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on all windows and engrave expensive accessories to prevent thieves from dis ...
Caribbean Police Commissioners will tackle head-on the vexing problems of crime, weapons and human trafficking, cyber crime and other areas of concern during a five-day conference at Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said yesterday that the five-day conference of Caribbean commissioners is not only timely but needed, as one of the key issues that will be discussed is crime, a hot issue throughout the region.
Greenslade, along with the members of the government and commissioners of police from across the Caribbean, was on hand at the official opening of the 27th annual meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police at Atlantis' Coral Towers yesterday.
He pointed out that the package of anti-crime bills passed in Parliament late last year had its genesis in the discussions on crime at last year's conference.
"The genesis of a lot of those changes were as a result of discussions between Caribbean commissioners, more specifically the commissioner from Cayman, Bermuda and indeed Jamaica who spoke to the business of anonymity legislation; the business of increasing the penalty for gun crimes and for targeting prolific offenders, and the need to ensure that the legislation has teeth so that we can get some traction," Greenslade said during a press conference after the official opening of the event.
Among the bills passed were the Evidence Amendment Bill, the Penal Code Amendment Bill, the Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Bill, the Court of Appeal Amendment Bill, the Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Bill, the Customs Management Bill, the Criminal Evidence Witness Anonymity Amendment Bill, the Sexual Offences Amendment Bill and the Dangerous Drugs Amendment Bill.
"One of the issues that will be given primacy will be the illicit trafficking of weapons and certainly the concomitant problems that result," said Greenslade.
"We will also be looking at problems around the investigation of cyber crime and as we extend that particular topic, high tech crime. Given the technological advances that we now see, that is a very complex, complicated arena to work in and certainly demands comparative advantage and tremendous skills. We will also be looking at the business of trafficking persons."
The conference was also held in The Bahamas last year and attracted police commissioners from over 20 Caribbean countries.
National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage pointed out during the press conference that Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force officers will be working much more closely together in the war against crime than they have before.
"It's going to be based on intelligence policing," he said. "Obviously the police force has the primary role in the prevention of criminal activity and the defence force will have a supportive role. But how closely? As closely as necessary for us to achieve our objective."
The five-day conference ends on Friday.