Friday, June 14, 2024

The Bahamas Prime Minister on a New Energy Era for The Bahamas

Transforming our country’s energy sector has been a priority for us from the start, says Bahamian Prime Minister, The Hon. Philip Brave Davis, KC., MP.,



New Energy Era for The Bahamas
On the one hand, we have been compelled by the urgency of change – the need to relieve Bahamian families and businesses from the burden of high prices and unreliable electricity supply.

Relief is an important-enough goal – especially during a global inflation crisis.

But we are also motivated by our profound conviction that our economy can be more competitive, more prosperous, more dynamic, and more inclusive — with more paths to security and success for more Bahamians.

We have very big ambitions for our country and for the Bahamian people.

However – you can’t build a 21st century economy with 20thcentury infrastructure.

In every conversation I have with entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors – from the very smallest to the very largest – the high cost of electricity, and the costs and uncertainties associated with unreliable supply, inevitably come up.

For most Bahamians, the only bill bigger is their rent or mortgage payment.  Major bills are a major burden – which means less disposable income, which means less spending and investment in our local economy.

And, of course, high bills for businesses means high operating costs, affecting our competitiveness and our ability to diversify, and creating obstacles to growth and development – impacting investments, business expansions, and job creation.

Now – even with all of those problems, we’re a special-enough country that we’ve come roaring back after the dark days of, Hurricane Dorian, pandemic curfews and lockdowns, breaking big records, with substantial new investments and job growth.

Just imagine what we could accomplish if we had affordable, reliable, clean energy!

That’s where we’re finally headed.

But right before we get to the hopeful part of today’s launch – the solutions! – I want to make sure you all have an understanding of the scale of the challenge.

Important parts of our electricity infrastructure, including some transformers and substations, are more than 50 years old – they date back to before independence!

It’s hard to describe the experience of listening to engineers emphasize that critical parts of our grid are on the verge of collapse – with no chance of revival, once they go down.

And then there are the generation engines – 60% of BPL’s plant in New Providence, and 80% in the Family Islands, need replacement within the next five years.

So we have an aging, vulnerable, deteriorating, expensive system, dependent on heavy and diesel fuels, that cannot meet current needs – let alone the growing energy needs of a digital economy, or the increased demand we have to anticipate as temperatures rise in this new climate era.

If you’re wondering how much it costs to rescue and modernize our grid – I have an answer for you: about half a billion dollars.

Of course, BPL is carrying a legacy debt of the same amount —  more than $500 million, not to mention an unfunded pension liability of $100 million.

I could go on – about the grid’s vulnerability to storm damage, the inability of our current system to integrate renewable energy, the tens of millions in rental costs annually which contribute to high prices – but I can see you’re ready to move from problems to solutions.

As were we.  We understood that as urgent as change was, the quick short-term fixes that have been the historical pattern have not served our country well.

We knew we needed comprehensive, innovative reform.

Today, we’re excited to share these policies with you, which include:

- A foundational update to transmission and distribution in New Providence, so we can have a more stronger, more resilient, more modern, more efficient power grid – critical to gaining both lower prices and increased reliability;

- For the first time, utility-scale solar power in New Providence – 70 MW of solar power, and 35 MW of Battery Energy Storage Systems will be integrated into the grid;

- Solar power throughout our Family Islands – where new hybrid microgrids will incorporate solar power and natural gas, allowing us to eliminate expensive BPL rentals, replace aging generation units, and establish battery storage systems;

- Natural gas as a partner fuel to solar, to create important savings that can be passed on to the consumer;

- Energy Efficiency Upgrades, including energy audits and efficiency upgrades for government buildings, educational outreach to consumers, LED street lighting, and rooftop solar at schools; and:

- New electricity legislation (Electricity Act 2024), which allows for stronger consumer protections, and – very importantly, as you’ll hear momentarily – allows adjustment to the tariff rates to support consumers who most urgently need relief from high prices.

I’d like to pause here to say that when I asked Minister Coleby-Davis last September to become the country’s Minister of Energy, we discussed our shared priorities for energy reform, which included:

- Immediate relief for Bahamian families

- Reforms that lead to lower prices, and fair prices, over the medium and long term

- Increased reliability

- Increased grid resilience during storms

- Cleaner energy, with a lower carbon footprint…

- An ironclad commitment to union workers, including job and pension security

- New entrepreneurial, employment, and investment opportunities for Bahamians…and:

- Strengthening the financial position of BPL, to ensure legacy debts are addressed.

To the Minister’s credit, she jumped right in and never looked back.

Which is why this morning, she has the honour of sharing more of the details of these big new policies.

And as I turn things over to her, I will close by reminding everyone – we didn’t come here to defend the status quo, we came here to change it.

We are determined to close the gap between our national potential and our national reality – and with this very big and ambitious agenda of reform and investment, we believe we are well on the way to ensuring that a new energy era will lead also to a new economic era – a new era of opportunity for all.


Energy Minister JoBeth Coleby-Davis on a new energy era in The Bahamas>>>

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Hubert Minnis is A Persona Non Grata in Bahamian Politics

Analysis: Hubert Minnis Has Fallen on His Own Sword

Hubert Minnis Final Act of Political Folly

Nassau, The Bahamas

Hubert Minnis Political Legacy
Hubert Minnis has fallen on his own sword, a stark and brutal end to a political journey marked by both triumph and turbulence. In a recent leadership vote within the Free National Movement (FNM), Minnis suffered not just a defeat but a resounding rejection, receiving a mere 163 votes against Michael Pintard’s commanding 486.

This outcome raises a fundamental question: why would Minnis, once decisively rejected by the electorate in 2021, willingly submit himself to such public and profound humiliation? The answer may lie in a tragic blend of political hubris and strategic miscalculation.

This debacle is not merely a reflection of a leader out of step with his party; it is an emblem of a political career that has veered into the realm of self-sabotage. Minnis’s attempt to reclaim authority within the FNM was less a battle for leadership and more a misjudged skirmish that ended in his complete and utter capitulation.

His decision to run in the face of such obvious party sentiment was less an act of courage and more a misfire of epic proportions, illustrating a profound disconnect from the political realities of his diminished stature.

By thrusting himself into this leadership contest, Minnis has not only obliterated his political influence but has also inadvertently amplified Pintard’s stature, cementing his role as the party’s new cornerstone. Each vote for Pintard echoed as a resounding repudiation of Minnis, effectively banishing him from the political arena he once dominated.

The implications of this political suicide are far-reaching. Minnis’s fall from grace serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of clinging to power beyond one’s expiry date.

It underscores a bitter truth in politics: that the refusal to recognize one’s waning influence can lead to ruinous consequences, transforming leaders into relics of their former selves.

In the aftermath of this debacle, the FNM finds itself at a crossroads, now rallying behind Pintard’s vision of renewal and distancing itself from the Minnis era—a period that will likely be remembered more for its ignominious end than its achievements. As for Minnis, his legacy will be marred by this final act of political folly, a sad denouement for a figure who once held the nation’s highest office.

This stark transformation within the FNM should serve as a critical warning to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP): stay alert and take nothing for granted, as political landscapes can shift dramatically and unexpectedly.

As this chapter closes on Minnis’s career, the lesson is clear: political power is as much about knowing when to hold on as it is about knowing when to let go. Unfortunately for Minnis, his grasp extended far beyond his reach, leaving him not just defeated but disgraced.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Bahamas Government Recognizes Palestine as a state

The Government of The Bahamas Formally Recognizes The State of Palestine

The Bahamas Recognizes The Palestine State

NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that the Cabinet of The Bahamas has decided to formally recognize Palestine as a state.

The Government of The Bahamas believes that recognition of the State of Palestine strongly demonstrates The Bahamas’ commitment to the principles espoused in the Charter of the United Nations and to the right of self-determination of peoples as articulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

The Bahamas became an independent nation in 1973 as an act of self-determination. Therefore, The Bahamas supports the legal right of the Palestinian people of self-determination “to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” (Common Article 1 of the ICCPR and ICESCR).

The Bahamas has, in the past, endorsed the two-state solution as clearly articulated in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) on a Peaceful and Accepted Settlement of the Middle East Situation.

The Bahamas joins the Caribbean Community’s consensus on this matter.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Investigation into The Root Causes of Crime in The Bahamas is Urgently Needed

The Bahamas Government Can Best Prevent and Address Crime by First Setting Good Examples

Pursuing Sustainable Solutions to Combat Crime and Hostility in The Bahamas with a Collective Approach

By Dr Kevin Alcena
Nassau, The Bahamas

Kevin Alcena
The Bahamas is grappling with significant challenges related to crime and violence, impacting communities and hindering progress within society. While legislation plays a crucial role, addressing these complex issues demands a comprehensive strategy that includes various sectors of society.

This article explores the key aspects of a collective strategy to curb crime and violence in the Bahamas, emphasizing the empowerment of communities, the establishment of a compulsory national service, the enhancement of education, the application of scientific approaches, and economic reforms.

Community Empowerment

Central to the reduction of crime and hostility in The Bahamas are initiatives that focus on the community, offering education, vocational training, and social support to at-risk youth. Such programs can divert these individuals from criminal activities by providing opportunities for positive involvement.

Furthermore, cultivating a relationship of trust and cooperation between law enforcement officials and community members via community policing can significantly decrease crime. This method promotes dialogue and partnership within communities.

National Service

Implementing a compulsory national service program stands as a crucial element in reducing violence and criminal actions. Involving youth in structured tasks such as environmental conservation or improving public amenities can foster a sense of responsibility, self-control, and collaboration. These activities not only equip them with skills valuable for employment but also open up educational opportunities, presenting a constructive alternative to criminal behaviors.

Education and Literacy

Ensuring access to quality education and literacy is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty and curtailing involvement in criminal activities. By launching literacy campaigns across the nation, The Bahamas can enable its citizens to pursue better employment opportunities, make informed decisions, and contribute to societal development. An increase in literacy rates can elevate economic conditions, reducing the desperation that can lead individuals to engage in crimes.

Scientific Initiatives

Investing in scientific research focused on crime prevention and social improvement can reveal important insights and innovative strategies. Utilizing evidence-based approaches is key in identifying the fundamental causes of crime and violence, leading to the development of effective deterrents and interventions. Collaboration among government agencies, academic institutions, and community organizations is necessary for creating tailored solutions that cater to the specific needs of Bahamian communities.

Economic Reform

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of both formal and informal economic sectors is essential for effective governance and crime reduction in The Bahamas. Meticulously recording economic activities, including those in the informal sector, enables authorities to monitor business practices and directly address illegal operations. Integrating informal sectors into the formal economy provides them with access to resources, legal protection, and growth opportunities, thereby reducing the allure of criminal endeavors.

In efforts to decrease crime and violence, The Bahamas must adopt a strategy that addresses social, economic, and administrative challenges. Strengthening communities, engaging citizens in national service, enhancing education and literacy, allocating resources to scientific research, and pursuing economic reforms can create an environment conducive to security, prosperity, and the well-being of all citizens.

The dedication of government officials, social organizations, and the business community is imperative for the successful deployment and lasting effectiveness of these measures. Through persistent efforts and a commitment to change, The Bahamas can establish a foundation for a future free from the scourge of crime and violence.

The Infestation of Crime in The Bahamas

Crime emerges from our lifestyles and the deliberate or inadvertent efforts by family members, friends, and acquaintances to hide criminal activities. Crime is a manifestation bred inadvertently by society’s actions.

According to the French nobleman Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), “Crime embodies lust. What would pleasure be without the thrill of crime? It’s not the debauchery itself that excites us, but the notion of committing evil.”

Former US FBI Director John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) emphasized that within the upbringing and education of family members, it is crucial to “impart truthfulness to the children.”


The term “CRIME” originates from the Latin word “CRIMEN” and is defined in BLACKSTONE'S CRIMINAL LAW BOOK as “the act of committing an illegal activity.”

The first recorded crime, a homicide or murder, was committed by Cain against his brother, Abel. Historically, crimes were considered sins. Hence, crime has existed since the sin of Adam and Eve and will persist till the end of days.

“Sociological” is derived from the French word “Societe” and the Latin “Socius,” meaning “Society.” The term “Phenomenon” comes from the Latin “PHENOMENON,” referring to “any observable fact that can be scientifically described” by humans.

Thus, when it is said that “crime is a sociological phenomenon,” it means that crimes are acts committed by individuals based on environmental or societal influences through the senses. Crimes are perpetrated through the senses of touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell. By touching and feeling, one can commit the crime of homicide, through sight and hearing, the crime of pornography, and through taste and smell, the crime against consuming drugs in all their varieties.

A super predator, essentially a psychopath, can commit heinous acts like murder and rape without remorse, believed to be due to the absence of a functioning conscience.

Most crimes, such as murders, rapes, robberies, and other violent offenses, are committed through the senses of touch and feeling. Crimes are classified as blue-collar, committed mostly by the impoverished, and white-collar, committed by those more affluent.

The notion that charity begins at home extends to evil as well.

It follows that parents, with rare exceptions, are not to blame for their offspring's crimes, just as political parties, politicians, or police are NOT responsible for citizens’ crimes. Nevertheless, the governing party, whether PLP or FNM, alongside the Police Commissioner, has a sworn duty to prevent, reduce, and solve crimes. The Attorney-General commits to prosecute all crimes committed by anyone, “without fear or favour.”

The ruling government can best prevent and address crime by setting a good example, establishing proper infrastructure like more entertainment and sports facilities, and promoting friendly relations between the police and the populace.

Additionally, everyday citizens have a responsibility to look after one another and follow the golden rule.

The perspective above is merely a starting point. Further investigation into the root causes of crime is urgently needed.

Not every perpetrator is apprehended. Many cleanly-dressed criminals, in suits or uniforms with polished shoes, walk among us in The Bahamas. The French Philosopher Voltaire noted, "If every man had to display his crimes on his forehead, he would wear his hat over his eyes."

Focus must be on: (A) The Resolution of Crime, and(B) The Rehabilitation of The Offender.

A systematic cultural shift in addressing crime, including the restructuring of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and establishing a commission to tackle corruption levels, is necessary for the Bahamian people.

This would inevitably foster a culture of respect within society. The government maintains zero tolerance towards corruption.

The Resolution of Crime

Two methods for resolving crime include: The Preventive Approach, and The Practical Common Sense Approach.

The Preventive Approach

The Book of Proverbs in The Holy Bible advises parents to guide their children in righteous ways, promising they will adhere to these teachings lifelong. In essence, instructing children to follow Biblical teachings, such as the ten commandments, love for God and neighbor, the golden rule, and manners.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Without Security there will be No Democracy in Haiti

Deep Concerns about the Current State of Insecurity in Haiti 

Organization of American States (OAS) General Secretariat on the Security Situation in Haiti

Haiti Crisis
The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) expresses its deep concern about the current state of insecurity in Haiti.  It is more necessary than ever to promote cooperation efforts in the United Nations to restore security in the country.  It is irresponsible that the necessary measures and actions continue to be delayed.

Without security there will be no democracy.  In that sense, we reaffirm our support for the Haitian people, within the country and in the diaspora, and our commitment to continue collaborating to promote a solution that advances the much-needed democratization process in the country, seeking guarantees in human rights and protection for all and a peaceful context in which to hold free and fair elections in Haiti.

The OAS General Secretariat is determined to strengthen its cooperation with Haiti to confront the current challenges of democratic instability, unemployment, food insecurity, illiteracy, health insecurity, corruption and other sociopolitical and socioeconomic problems that affect the country and that are exacerbated by the perpetual violence of the criminal elements that have held the country hostage.

March 04, 2024


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Latrae Rahming on Safety For American Tourists in The Bahamas

What About The Safety of Bahamians in The Bahamas, Mr. Latrae Rahming?



Latrae Rahming
“The Office of the Prime Minister did not direct any news crew to cover a crime scene in The Bahamas. We have since contacted the team, who indicated they will not use that as part of their story.

The purpose of their (CBS News crew) trip is to show that The Bahamas is safe for Americans to visit and that incidents occurring in The Bahamas are outside of the tourist areas,” Communication’s Director, Latrae Rahming.

Coalition of Independents (COI) Respond to The Communications Director at The Office of the Prime Minister, Latrae Rahming On Safe Areas for Tourists in The Bahamas

Charlotte Green
"Director Latrae Rahming, your statement is not only a slap in the face to every Bahamian but also a clear indication of where the government's priorities lie. The audacity to publicize areas safe for tourists while leaving your own citizens to navigate through violence and fear is beyond appalling.

It's a blatant display of negligence towards the very people you've sworn to protect and serve. Our nation should not resemble a resort, where safety is a luxury afforded only to those holding foreign passports.

The reality that our own streets have become battlegrounds for our sons and daughters, while the government seems more preoccupied with the nation's image abroad, is shameful. It's a gross failure to fulfill the most basic duties of governance and law enforcement.

Furthermore, let this serve as a stern reminder that the Bahamian people are exhausted by this blatant disregard for their safety and well-being.

Our children, the future of this nation, are growing up in an environment where their lives are undervalued. The government's apparent indifference to the escalating violence within our own borders, while ensuring tourists can sunbathe in peace, is unacceptable.

We demand more than just words and reassurances; we demand tangible actions and policies that prioritize the safety of every Bahamian. The time has come for the government to stop treating its citizens as second-class and start addressing the root causes of this violence.

The people of The Bahamas deserve to feel safe in their own country, not just survive. Our patience has worn thin, and our tolerance for excuses has reached its end. It's high time our leaders took their responsibilities seriously and made the safety and security of their own people their top priority.

I fully understand that tourism is our number one industry, and we've seen how fragile that is, especially when we were struck by COVID-19, and now it is being further threatened by crime. While the need to protect this industry is clear, it's crucial that we move past this outdated model.

The safety and needs of our people must not be overlooked in the process. The continuous focus on the welfare of tourists at the expense of our own citizens' safety is a dangerous imbalance that cannot be sustained.

It's time to explore and invest in sustainable development models that do not sacrifice the well-being of Bahamians. Our people's lives and safety should always be the priority, and any model that fails to recognize this is fundamentally flawed and unacceptable."

Charlotte Green
National Chairman

Coalition of Independents


Sunday, January 14, 2024

Violent Gangs, Illegal Guns, and Serious Crimes in The Bahamas

The Bahamas Prime Minister's National Address on Crime in The Islands

January 14, 2024 - Nassau, The Bahamas - Good evening, everyone.

Philip Davis Bahamas PM
In this my first public national statement for the year, I would have preferred to have taken this time to set out the plans we have in place to further lift our national development in 2024.

Instead, with the country having witnessed 11 murders over the past 14 days, I want to speak to you about the things we are doing to reduce the incidence of crime, and the plans we are beginning to implement ultimately to prevent crime being committed in the first place.

Over the past year, and in the past few weeks in particular, New Providence has been the scene of senseless carnage, much of it attributed to persons already on bail for serious offences.

Most murderers and victims have also been connected to those associated in some way with gangs.

Gang-related activity has plagued our country for far too long.

Over the years a number of initiatives have been launched to try to deal with it.

We are now preparing the most comprehensive approach yet.

Our frontline response to the present crisis is to bring forward a strategy which is already in the advanced stages of planning.

Our approach lies in three stages: ‘Clear, Hold and Build’.

We’re going on the offensive.

Put simply, our first phase is to ‘Clear’ out the gangs from our neighbourhoods.

Our police, armed with new resources and resolve, will strike hard against these gangs.

We’re not just disrupting them, we’re dismantling them.

We will show no mercy to those who have shown no mercy to their fellow citizens.

If you choose crime, you will face the full weight and might of the law.

After we clear these neighbourhoods, we’re not just walking away.

We will move to phase two, which is the ‘Hold’ phase.

Our police will ‘hold’ these communities by maintaining an ongoing, relentless presence. 

This is an area which we think has not been addressed fully in the past.

We’re sending a clear message to any criminal who thinks they can make a comeback: we’re here, we’re here to stay, and we’re not going anywhere.

This phase is about constant vigilance and strength.

Lastly, we ‘Build’ – not just buildings and roads, but building opportunities, building futures, building hope.

This is about investing in our communities, creating opportunities that didn’t exist before, and ensuring that crime is never again seen as a desirable option.

We’re not just reclaiming our streets; we’re revitalizing them.

‘Clear – Hold – Build’!

It’s an approach which has been used in some form or another in other countries, with significant degrees of success.

We are adapting it to suit the situation on the ground here in The Bahamas, and we are fully resolved to do what is necessary to succeed.

Most of the killings are gun-related.

There are far too many firearms on our streets.  In fact, we have already begun to take more aggressive actions against those found in possession to support our zero-tolerance approach.

Our Anti-Gang and Firearm Task Force is in full swing.

Last year the Judiciary designated a magistrate specifically to deal with firearms offences.

We now have quicker prosecutions, with stiffer penalties being imposed.

From the date of first appearance in court to conviction or acquittal, it now takes an average of two months rather than a number of years as was previously the case.

The backlog is also being cleared.

Swift Justice is at work.  We will build on this success.


You won’t believe where we’re finding these guns: stashed in cereal boxes and tucked away in snack packets, buried in innocent-looking surroundings.

Guns are also being hidden by girlfriends, parents and grandparents.

Most worryingly, children and young people are being used to hide weapons near schools or even attempting to smuggle them in their underwear – and this is true of both girls and boys.

It’s clear evidence of the lengths criminals will go to.

But let me tell you, no matter how clever these gangs think they are, our task force is smarter, tougher, and more determined.

We’re uncovering their tricks, and we’re putting an end to their game.

There’s another hard truth at play: we don’t make guns here in The Bahamas.

These firearms are coming from abroad, primarily from the United States.

I’ve been straight with the US Government about the need to step up their game, and they have, as a result, tightened their response.

Our partnership with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is strengthening.  We’re not just talking; we’re taking action.

We’re tracking down Bahamians with dual citizenship who have been buying guns in the US and trafficking them here.  And it’s working – we’ve already busted some major operations.

During the past two years, we have significantly increased the resources to help the police to be more effective.

We have recruited over 200 more officers, brought more vehicles onto the streets, provided more technological support, more firearms and so on.

We now need to go even further.

Trained police officers are already in every school.  We will enhance their capacity to ensure safety at school, and build positive relationships with students.

We will increase police presence in high-crime areas to deter criminal activities.

We will install more state-of-the-art surveillance technology using Facial Recognition CCTV, to help with crime detection and prevention.

We are encouraging officers to build stronger community ties in order to improve intelligence-gathering.

We are creating dedicated teams to provide assistance and protection to witnesses in criminal cases.

We are reviewing the operation of the Confidential Informant Fund with a view to increasing resources to enhance the effectiveness of information-gathering and covert operations.

We are constructing a National Forensic Laboratory in order to reduce our dependency on foreign jurisdictions.

We will then be able to conduct our own forensic analyses, which will significantly speed up investigations and improve the quality of evidence used in trials.

We are going to introduce the toughest Anti-Gang Legislation ever.  If you are associated with a gang, we are coming after you.

If you have a lot of shiny things no way to explain your wealth, we are going to seize what you have. 

But let’s be clear: this is not just about more police on the streets; it’s about smarter, strategic policing.

We are targeting the hotspots, dismantling the networks, and choking off the lifelines of these criminal organizations.

Our message to the gangs is unequivocal: you will find no safe haven in The Bahamas.  We will find you, we will stop you, and we will bring you to justice.

My Fellow Bahamians:

One of the hallmark values of my administration is ‘compassion’.  I am proud of this.

We aim to provide competent, compassionate leadership for all Bahamians.  This reflects one of my core personal values, as to how I think decent human beings ought to treat each other.

But anyone who mistakes ‘compassion’ for weakness, is in for a very, very rude awakening.

We are all likely to be affected by the more intrusive policing which is coming.  We will not violate anyone’s civil liberties, but you are likely to be impacted by more roadblocks and unannounced police action.

This may make you late for your appointments or delay plans you have, but this is a small price to pay for the collective benefit of having our streets made safer and our lives less blighted by murder and other violent crimes.

We ask for your co-operation, support and trust as the police go about their business.

Rather than complain about any inconvenience, maybe thank those officers who are working on our behalf.

In turn, officers will be reminded that they are to operate at all times within the law, and treat each person with the necessary courtesies and dignity.

We’re all in this together, and together, we will win.  But our fight against crime isn’t just about gangs and guns.

Social and Domestic violence is a cancer in our society, eating away at the fabric of our communities.

We seem to have lost the ability to deal with our conflicts in ways which don’t automatically lead to violence.

That’s why we’ve set up a dedicated Domestic Violence Unit within the Royal Bahamas Police Force.  This isn’t just another police department.  We’ve got officers specifically trained to handle these sensitive cases, to protect the victims and deal with the perpetrators the way they deserve to be dealt with.

But we need to go further.

And so, I am asking Ministers to recommend a package of measures which may be adopted to help improve the ways in which we resolve our conflicts across the whole of society.

Cussing, Fists, Knives and Guns have no place in how we resolve our differences.

While the police move forward to ‘Clear, Hold and Build’ our communities, there is still much, much more that needs to be done to reduce crime in our country.

In the past, while a lot of attention has been given to the policing effort, other factors which contribute substantially to crime, have not had the same focus.

Back in August last year, we agreed a strategy which would tackle the entire criminal lifecycle.

We recognised that we need both a ‘Whole of Government’ and a Whole of Society approach if we are both to reduce crime, as well as root out the causes of crime.

In October, we convened a ‘Gang Crime and Justice Task Force’ to drive the implementation of that strategy.

While it is driven by me and the team in my office, it is chaired by the Minister of Education, and the Minister of National Security.

The Task Force meets weekly and is attended by a number of Ministers, the Commissioner of Police, the Commissioner of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, and the Commodore of the Defence Force and their teams.

Other non-governmental participants attend the Task Force as needed.

The strategy emerged from an understanding that crime is not just a legal issue but a societal one.

Crime is not just a legal issue.

And the causes of crime are deeply rooted in a range of social, economic, and psychological factors.

The strategy draws on contemporary research, successful models from around the world, and consultations with experts across various fields.

We break it down into Five Pillars for Action:

Firstly, Prevention.  This is the ultimate aim of all our efforts: to prevent crime from being committed in the first place.

This pillar focuses on addressing the root causes of crime.  It involves community development, educational initiatives, social services, and economic opportunities, aiming to prevent the emergence of criminal behaviour, particularly among at-risk populations.

Secondly, Detection.  We need to strengthen our efforts in Detection and make sure they are sufficiently linked with all the other areas that are contributing to the growth in crime.

It involves modernizing policing methods, enhancing training, and incorporating technology for efficient crime prevention and detection.

Our Action Plan to ‘Clear, Hold and Build’ will drive this Pillar.

Thirdly, there is the pillar which covers everything relating to Prosecutions.

Once charges are brought against an individual, the criminal justice system needs to provide a swift and fair process.

Actions taken under this pillar include reforms in the judicial system to expedite legal proceedings, the establishment of special courts to handle specific types of crimes, and the provision of support systems for victims and witnesses.

The Fourth Pillar is that of Punishment.  We need to ensure that while fair and proportionate punishments are imposed, they also need to act as deterrents to those thinking about engaging in criminal acts.

In consultation with the Chief Justice and other stakeholders, we therefore propose to introduce sentencing guidelines, and integrate restorative justice practices as part of the appropriate punishment.

Finally, we will prioritise Rehabilitation.  This final pillar aims to prepare offenders for successful reintegration into society.

There is no point releasing people back into the community if we have not tackled the behaviours that caused them to offend in the first place.

It includes vocational training, educational programs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and support networks to reduce the chances of people falling back into offending.

The reason why each of these five pillars is so important, is that they are all inter-connected.  Each one has a major effect on the others.

We have put together a number of initiatives under each pillar, some of which are already underway.

Tomorrow my office will release a list of some of these programmes so that you can see the range of interventions that are taking place.


I want to make special mention here of the issues surrounding the granting of bail.  The issue of bail has been widely debated.

This is understandable given the fact that so many of the murders being committed are done so by those who are out on bail, and that those on bail themselves in turn become victims of murder.

I understand the frustration and the blame-shifting that have surfaced during these debates, but there are some realities which must be faced.

A judge has the right to use his discretion when granting bail.  Judges in The Bahamas live in The Bahamas, and they know the truth of the statistics: releasing these men on the streets is akin to a countdown to a death sentence.

We all have a responsibility to address this issue: the Judiciary, lawyers, and central government.

In this context, I think it important to address a troubling situation where we find repeat serious offenders being granted bail and either becoming victims of murder or perpetrating serious offenses while on bail.  These, in my opinion, justify a more aggressive approach by the judiciary in denying bail in murder cases.

In my view, the prosecutors must likewise be more aggressive in appealing instances where bail is granted and the elements I have just described exist.

Tomorrow will be our National Day of Prayer.  I hope that each of you will participate, in whatever way you can, so that we can provide each other with our mutual support, as we engage in national soul-searching.

I am grateful to the Christian Council for convening this Day to bring our nation together and pray for healing.

We all need to play our part.

Whatever success we may have from our ‘Whole of Government’ approach, will only go so far.

We need everyone – the Whole Society – to join in the effort.

If you are a parent or friend or neighbour or family member who sees guns under the bed or in the closet and fail to do something you are part of the problem.

You might believe that you are protecting your child – but you are likely doing the opposite.

The longer they are part of gang life, the shorter their lives are likely to be.

If you are keeping company with the wrong crowd, you may easily become not just part of the problem, but part of the murder count.

Do the right thing.  If you see something, say something.

I have instructed the Attorney General and the Minister of Social Services to review the laws with the view of bringing additional measures against parents and other family members who fail to live up to the sacred responsibility of protecting children.

We will have a society and country where failure in parenthood, resulting in endangerment and negligence, will be met with accountability.

For those who, despite everything, insist on engaging in criminality, understand that it boils down to two options.  Either you accept our hands in partnership to a different way of life, or, you will face the blunt instrument of the law.  The choice is yours.

Tonight, because of the seriousness of what we are dealing with, it is easy to forget that there is still much to be proud of and feel grateful for in our country.

Even given the horrors of what we have seen on our streets, we must not abandon hope.

We must remain sensitive to our common humanity and do what we know to be the right thing.  And it can start in small but impactful ways.

Let us make every effort to respect each other, especially those we do not know.  Let us stop sharing images of murder victims.  Let us all aim to exercise more patience and restraint in our responses to those with whom we are in conflict.

All is not lost.  We can save this country.  And I believe, with God’s help, we will save this country.

Good night, and may God bless you all, and bless our Commonwealth.