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.