July 27, 2017
Kirkford Moxey, a 66-year-old retired teacher and lifelong resident of Bains and Grants Town, said yesterday he spends some nights sleeping on the floor of his bedroom out of fear that the gunshots he hears ringing throughout his neighborhood in the middle of the night will find their way into his home.
"One night they were having a function in the area, I knew they were going to have gunshots, so you know where I gone to bed, on the floor," Moxey said.
"About round 12 o'clock all I hear was 'pow, pow, pow, pow'."
Moxey's comments came as the Royal Bahamas Police Force introduced its new operation, code name STICS (Securing The Inner City Strategically).
STICS was described as a major crime suppression operation by Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander yesterday.
Dressed in S.W.AT gear, multiple officers canvassed Bains and Grants Town, an area identified as a hot spot for crime.
Police made use of their mobile station van, K-9 officers and a drone, as they moved about the community.
Fernander said the initiative was launched "after analyzing a number of the recent crime trends, with a number of shootings that occur in broad daylight within our communities".
"We live in these communities and these incidents continue to happen," Fernander said.
"We have stepped up our strategies.
"What we are doing here today, we are on foot. We are moving around in vehicles. We are walking in these communities.
"...We don't want the prolific offenders to believe there is no law for them within the communities.
"They continue to sell drugs. They continue to just fire off shots within the communities.
"Good people live within the area and we have to ensure that they are safe.
"We will not let a few handfuls of prolific offenders destroy this good country."
Fernander said police have mapped out all of the crime hot spots on New Providence and will canvas those areas as well.
"If they want to hang out, they will hang out with us officers, because we will no longer tolerate that," he said.
"And I believe that the members of the public will hold hands with us, and I encourage them to hold hands with us in this fight."
He warned drug dealers that police will set up outside of their operations in order to disrupt their sales.
He urged and encouraged residents that if they are aware of anyone, even family members, involved in criminal activities, to turn them in.
Last week, the country saw seven murders in the space of seven days.
The country's murder count is now 80 for the year.
Moxey said increased police presence in the community will be beneficial, especially for the children, who often lack proper parental guidance.
"Most of the children, especially the young children, what they see the adults doing... they follow right in suit," Moxey said.
"So to be more involved would help these kids a whole lot.
"Whatever (police) they could do to assist the area could be very effective and do better for the community."
Another lifelong resident of the area, 65-year-old Godfrey Strachan, said he loves seeing the police presence in the neighborhood and hopes that it persists.
"I love it. I hope it continues being like that," Strachan said.
"[I have] plenty concerns [about crime] because we all know what people doing and some people won't admit it, but I love what's going on."
However, not all in the area were pleased to see the officers in full S.W.A.T gear with guns in hand.
Lawrence Winters, 24, said he does not mind the police being in the area, but their show of force may be perceived as intimidating to the residents.
"The guns and the vests and all of that, they need to conceal those things, because we don't need them around here," Winters said.
"I think it's threatening to the residents. I mean, I'm a little scared right now."
Winters said he has been frequenting the area since he was a child.
"Seeing police down here, I want to know what happen," he added.
"I'm upset. I don't see [anything] happening.
"Nothing does happen around here."
Winters said he has no concerns of crime in the area and he feels safe and welcome.
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News date : 07/27/2017 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories