Commissioner Responds to Butler-Turner Criticism

Thursday 28th, June 2012 / 11:03 Published by

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade

In responding to criticism that the public should have been warned sooner about the recent spree of rape reports, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade insisted that police did the right thing and said that police must be allowed to do their job without interference.

He said police kept the matter secret to protect victims and their families, and that ensuring the integrity of investigations are the among the police force’s main priorities. The release of too much information can  compromise investigations and/or violate the privacy of individuals involved in the crimes, he added.

“I can’t have everyone telling us what we should and should not do,” he told reporters at police headquarters yesterday

“You have to also understand on the other side of this discussion are innocent victims and their families whose identities must be protected and whose locations must be protected and who I do not wish to be repeat victims as a result of negligence on my part or my organisation in saying too much.”

FNM deputy leader Loretta Butler-Turner had earlier this week blasted the government’s silence on the “alarming increase” in the number of rapes in New Providence.

Mr Greenslade said that measures had been taken to inform those perceived to be most at risk.

While he could not provide specific information on matters that might compromise investigations or the safety and privacy of the victims, Mr Greenslade said he is very satisfied with the work being done by police and is impressed with the level of work that they do.

While not wanting to down play the significance of these crimes he said overall, rape figures have gone down in the Bahamas. He said that murders and armed robberies are the only two categories of crime that have risen.


3 Comments on “Commissioner Responds to Butler-Turner Criticism

  • William Sturrup

    Concerned citizen, If you are an expert crime fighter, why not join the police force and help solve crime. You arm-chair crime-fighters who have so much to say, where were you when HIA and TT were playing detective? How come you didn’t advise your political masters to leave the police alone?

  • Concerned Citizen

    Mr Greenslade appears to have forgotten that he works for the Bahamian public, many of whom are not exactly thrilled with the job he is doing.

    Warning the public that a serial rapist is on the loose does not compromise the privacy of any individual. And according to certain high ranking police officers, it does not compromise the investigation either.

    Greenslade needs to ignore his political masters and admit that he was ordered to hush reports about crime to make the PLP look good. He is only losing the respect of the public by issuing foolish excuses as to why the public’s safety was not this first priority.

    Mr Greenslade is quick to release information to the press concerning the fact that three men have been brought into custody and are being questioned regarding the recent rash of home invasions and rapes. But have any formal charges been filed? And why wouldn’t the public expect these men to either be released on bail, or aquitted due to lousy police prosecution, like nearly every other serious criminal in the country.

    It should not be forgotten that only a handful of murderers have been convicted and sent to jail in The Bahamas in the last two years, while there have been hundreds of murders.

    Greenslade says crime has gone down – that murders and armed robberies are the only two categories of crime that have risen. Well, along with rape, wouldn’t those be the exact crimes that we, the public, are most concerned about?

    What’s worse, again, is the terrible conviction rate. It’s nice for Mr Greenslade to tout how many crimes his force has solved, but the truth comes out when we discover that conviction rates are abysmal.

    The time for Mr Greenslade’s policing by press release is over. We want real police action against serious crimes. We no longer will be intimidated into silence. Nor will we tolerate being spied on and victimised by a vindictive upper management of the force beacause we dare to criticisze the corruption and incomepetence of the police.

    Meanwhile, Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell also jumped in to criticise Loretta Butler Turner for her “irresponsible” comments in the press.

    “The comments from Loretta Butler-Turner are completely unfounded and she should be ashamed; especially seeing some of the victims were in her old constituency. She should not be attempting to politicise such matters, she knows better. That is why she is on the next side of the bench today.”

    Ms Butler-Turner wasn’t politicising the issue. Many, many Bahamians agree with her comments. And the reason she is “on the next side of the bench today” is because the PLP promised voters that they had a plan for crime, and were ready to start implementing it on day one. It is painfully obvious that Mr Bell’s PLP was lying and he is the one who should be ashamed for that.

    Make no mistake, the police deserve our respect, support and cooperation, and indeed they shuold be allowed to do their job without interference. The many good, hard-working officers on the force are to be admired. But there are far too many slack, incompetent and corrupt officers, particularly near the top of the force.

    Mr Bell hit the nail on the head when he said, “you will always find that the public has an opinion and they are entitled to it”. It is the opinion of the majority of Bahamians that the police do their job competently and efficently. And that police officers never, ever forget that they exist for one purpose only… to protect and serve us, the Bahamian public.


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