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Bahamas: Opposition calls for stronger stance against crime after church killing


(Eyewitness News) NASSAU, BAHAMAS — St Barnabas MP Shanendon Cartwright is again urging the Davis administration to urgently address rising crime in the capital.

This comes on the heels of the tragic death of 60-year-old Claudette Capron, who was struck by stray bullets and killed while attending a prayer meeting at a church on Robinson Road Tuesday night.

Cartwright had recently made a similar call to action, asserting that New Providence residents are increasingly living in fear of violent crime.

This most recent killing has added to that concern.

“It was extremely troubling to learn of a woman who was shot and killed while attending a prayer service at church,” he said.

“How many more of these senseless killings must occur before strong and decisive action is taken by this government?

“Scores of drive-by shootings, armed robberies and incidents of stolen vehicles have continued to overrun many of our communities for the past several weeks, and constituencies like mine and those bordering it are of no exception.”

Police have confirmed a trend of residents being held up and robbed of their vehicles upon returning home within the past two weeks.

Cartwright continued: “At present, there simply appears not to be a strong enough stance on crime being advanced by this administration.”

However, he hastened to note: “Crime is certainly a matter that should never be politicized, but it does require a robust and resolute response from an elected government, and the Bahamian people are demanding it now.

“The recent surge of violent crime taking place in our country, particularly here in the capital, is deeply concerning.

“While our continual fight to end the scourge of crime in our communities requires a collective approach, it is the view of the opposition that this administration must do more if they wish to avoid the appearance of being soft on crime.

“The Bahamian people are growing increasingly alarmed at our present crime situation, and the fear index among our citizens continues to grow at a rapid pace.”

As he acknowledged the “heroic and exceptional” efforts of police officers and expressed condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones to violent crime, the MP charged that a safer society should be a top priority for the government.

“The Bahamian people are demanding action now in order to arrest the issues that we are currently facing, lest we run the risk of a lawless and out-of-control situation pervading our streets and communities,” Cartwright said.

Towards the end of last year, Deputy Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander acknowledged that the fear of serious crime remains too high in The Bahamas, asserting that the police force has a plan of action to ensure criminals feel its presence this year.

Cartwright yesterday said: “Our leader, the Honorable Michael C Pintard, continues to challenge this government to work collaboratively with the Official Opposition and other stakeholders so that we can effectively address this crime problem that adversely impacts us all.”


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