Police working to rid streets of illegal firearms

ACP Clayton Fernander

Admitting that guns are the weapons of choice in the execution of crime ranging from armed robberies to break-ins as well as other serious and violent acts of criminality, Officer-in-Charge of Crime Investigations, ACP Clayton Fernander, revealed aggressive strategies are in full effect by law enforcement officers to not only rid our streets and neighborhoods of firearms, but also persecute persons found illegally possessing the same.

ACP Fernander and a team of officers, from the capital, are in Grand Bahama assisting with investigations into the country’s first three murders for 2018, which took place in the nation’s second city. The team arrived on Monday, January 8.

“Royal Bahamas Police Force officers have identified a number of areas, where we suspect weapons are coming in. In recent times we (RBPF) have taken a lot of weapons and ammunition off our streets, as well as we have charged a number of persons found in illegal possession of the same.

“We have been working very closely with our United States of America (USA) law enforcement counterparts, as again we know that a lot of weapons are coming into our borders,” said ACP Fernander.

He noted that the Royal Bahamas Police Force is keen on taking an aggressive approach to seeking out and persecuting firearm traffickers, as the weapons are being used in the commission of approximately 98 percent of the homicides that have occurred as well as other serious crimes.

“Already several firearm traffickers have been identified and officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force are going all out to ensure that we target, disrupt, thwart and impede their operations to the point that they find no reprieve all 2018,” ACP Fernander declared.

Working directly with U.S. Law Enforcement, Bahamas Customs and Immigration, ACP Fernander revealed that the Royal Bahamas Police Force is keen on filling all gaps within and around the borders of The Bahamas, to stop the illegal firearm and weapons trade as well as eliminate traffickers of the same.

Additionally, specialized programs will be implemented to rescue at-risk youth, who are being recruited by criminals into gangs, which is now on the rise in the commissioning of acts of crime across the board.

“Again, we have communicated with Heads of Specialized Operational Units within the Royal Bahamas Police Force to combat this growing trend, as our intel indicates that a number of young men, particularly high school truants and drops outs are fast becoming involved in gang activity.

“One of the Royal Bahamas Police Force main objectives is to save as many young men as possible, from becoming involved in a life of crime by introducing initiatives in the educational system as well as the communities so that career criminals would not fare as well as they have in recruiting at-risk youth and taking advantage of the challenges they may be facing.

“Surely, we have to put a stop to such activities now (so that Grand Bahama and the Family Islands does not find itself in a similar predicament with gang and gun violence, as that of the capital).
“Furthermore, we are encouraging the public to work with the police and share any information they can to assist law enforcement in getting criminals off our streets, safeguarding our communities and ensuring that the Royal Bahamas Police Force, and its law enforcement counterparts – locally and internationally – continue to make The Bahamas a safer place to live, work, visit and play,” declared ACP Fernander.

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