Statement by Glenys Hanna Martin, MP for Englerston, Shadow Minister for National Security
The reports of 9 shootings last night resulting in at least two fatalities in multiple incidents occurring in various areas of New Providence are matters of grave concern to all right-thinking Bahamians.
Last weekend, just prior to this horrific night of violence we learned of 3 murders occurring throughout The Bahamas. In the last few days an 8- month old infant was murdered.
Within the last 4 months alone we have had more than forty (40) murders. This horrifying rate of killing and bloodshed combined with what appears to be an alarming rise in armed robberies have escalated levels of fear and created a sickening unease in our community.
This rate of violence is unsustainable to the wellbeing of our country. It is eroding public safety and harming public confidence; it is threatening our social and economic stability as a nation.
We are reminded of the trite irony of the attractive political ad of the now Minister of National Security where he guaranteed that under the FNM, Bahamians will feel safe in their homes.
Where is that smug guarantee now?
It must be clear to all that this worrying dilemma of violence in our country is not the subject of some prideful political stance. It is both destructive and complex at the same time; it impinges on multiple factors, including the apparent ease of availability of guns, the severe economic pressures bearing down on many people, the substandard physical conditions people are forced to live in and the deprivation suffered by many of our children.
This epidemic of violence requires the Government to go to another level; they must on an emergency basis collaborate with all relevant stakeholders in our country to develop a comprehensive plan that will yield results, both in the immediate short term and in the long term. And I now call on the government to do so as a matter of grave urgency. The Official Opposition stands ready to collaborate in this national emergency.