FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5 FEBRUARY 2017
STATEMENT BY BRADLEY B. ROBERTS IN RESPONSE TO FNM CRIME SPEECH
It’s a shame that after years of service with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Marvin Dames is now trying to distance himself from some of the very anti-crime policies he designed and implemented. When the PLP entered government in 2012, we were faced with an underfunded police force, an underfunded education system, coupled with a court system burdened with a huge backlog of cases.
This was what Dames and his FNM party left us to clean up.
The PLP Government worked hard to make our communities safe and beat back the scourge of crime. We took an aggressive approach with massive investments in technology and a new fleet for RBDF, more boots on the ground, establishing an anti-gang unit, more courts in operation, the disposal of more cases, the doubling of the conviction rate and a massive reduction in the time to trial.
We need our young people to join us in changing the course of our beloved country for the better. That’s why we empowered young people to serve their communities through visionary programs such as Urban Renewal 2.0, the Citizens Security, and Justice Programs. Education is the most powerful tool we can give our youth and that’s why the Christie administration doubled the investment in scholarships and established the University of The Bahamas.
But big changes like these take time. The government remains painfully aware that more must be done to touch the lives of more of our people in socially challenged communities; one life lost is one life too many. In our fight against crime, we have always been on the side of the people. Mr. Dames got one thing right. Yes, we do think The Bahamas is “the greatest little country in the world.” We wish Mr. Dames, Dr. Minnis, and the rest of the FNM would start rooting for The Bahamas and not against it.
We are not done and have much more to do to fight crime. But with the foundation we’ve built, we will continue to empower our youth and make The Bahamas safer.
Many of the PLP’s progressive initiatives of detection and prevention from 2007 were crippled as Dame’s FNM dismantled every programme we had implemented to fight crime. Witness Protection – neglected; Urban Renewal – gutted; Swift Justice – scrapped; and the National Youth Restorative Program with YEAST and the Catholic Church – canceled. All of these were stopped, reviewed, and ultimately canceled out of pure political spite. We can’t afford to let the FNM do this again. We need to press forward on the fight against crime, together.