At the outset, we emphasize that based on our observance the Port Lucaya Marketplace Security Program appears to be on point. In particular, as one moves through that all-important (to Grand Bahama) socio/business venue, there is great visibility of security personnel.
Indeed, we salute the security folks who function on behalf of marketplace management. The same cannot be said for the Grand Bahama Police Department. The truth be told, the scarcity of police officers on duty in business sectors and social locations in Grand Bahama has been alarming and an ongoing source of concern.
We have lamented this situation often and called out the GB Police Department on this issue, especially Deputy Commissioner Emrick Seymour, who in recent years was charged with the responsibility to ensure that the peace is kept in Grand Bahama.
It should not take three murders in the space of seven days to cause the GB Police to heighten its visibility throughout the City of Freeport, for sure. It is expected that what has happened would cause the Minister of National Security, Marvin Dames and Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson to concentrate on Grand Bahama. It was thus anticipated that a team would be sent here from New Providence.
In came Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander, leading a group. They held a press conference on Monday and pledged diligence in going after the perpetrators. However, there was no emphatic promise of a higher level of visibility by GB Police officers, daily and at nighttime when the social venues are being heavily patronized.
It’s almost as though, the modus operandi is that once the police get through this extraordinary period, it would be back to business as usual with few or no officers being seen in the public, on duty.
Not because the Port Lucaya Marketplace has a quality security force, should the GB Police Department take the position that there needs to be very little focus on the area. They should be there, as a presence, perhaps in less numbers than in other locations, but on sight nevertheless.
There is a good enough reason.
It could be accepted that the third murder that occurred within the highly populated confines of the marketplace, was a targeted personal project. There can be though, absolutely no assurance, that even in such an instance, none of the multitude of children or adults moving about would become victims of gunfire.
No amount of police presence could eliminate all devious acts. However, the criminal-minded would be less inclined if there is an ample show of officers on duty. Also, there would be less chance of someone who commits such a dastardly act in such a populated area, getting way without being apprehended.
We say that going forward, especially in the City of Freeport, but throughout Grand Bahama, police visibility should be prioritized.