Stash Houses Demolished
NASSAU, The Bahamas — Officials of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, working in conjunction with personnel from the Bain and Grant’s Town Urban Renewal Project and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, demolished two abandoned buildings located just off Baillou Hill Road Tuesday, putting an end to what were once two “stash houses” for drug peddlers in the area.
The destruction of the buildings came less than 24hours after police found and confiscated a little over four pounds of marijuana in one of the two abandoned buildings.
Superintendent of Police, Mr. Stephen Dean, Officer-in-Charge of the Urban Renewal Programme, said the discovery and swift demolition of the stash houses, will “put a dent” in the criminal operations in the area.
“We believe that the drugs were going to be used by drug peddlers in the area to sell to our little children and to our residents and so the discovery and confiscation of the four pounds of marijuana, and the destruction of these two ‘stash houses’ have allowed us to remove a big opportunity for drug dealers while putting a big dent in their operations in this particular area,” Mr. Dean said.
“The Royal Bahamas Police Force will not allow our communities to be overrun by drug peddlers and anywhere our intelligence leads us to additional stash houses, the same will occur.
“Let me use this opportunity to send a stern warning to persons who are hell-bent on selling drugs in these communities that the Royal Bahamas Police Force – particular the officers attached to the Urban Renewal Programme – will be on their case; that we will be behind them; that we will push them out of our communities, and that we will make sure that they are in the right place where they belong – prison – if they don’t desist from their behaviour.”
Superintendent Dean said good police work and intelligence, and the cooperation of residents, led to the discovery of the four pounds of marijuana which was deemed “significant.”
“Four pounds of marijuana could destroy many lives, thousands of lives, particularly as it relates to our young people as marijuana usage can lead to anti-social behaviour, which in turn, can lead to participation in criminal activities,” Mr. Dean said.
Superintendent Dean said marijuana has become “the drug of choice” among young people in The Bahamas with Police receiving reports that some children as young as ten years of age are smoking the drug. He said many others are being forced to smoke marijuana.
Operations such as the one that resulted in the demolition of the abandoned buildings on Baillou Hill Road and others that are ongoing throughout the island and the country, in addition to other initiatives, will help to make a difference at the community level, particularly in the Inner-City.
“I kid you not when I tell you that there are many persons who live in the Inner-City communities who want to have the same kinds of communities that exist in the East and the West for their children. They believe that they too should have the best for their children which is the kind of thinking any right-minded parent would have,” Mr. Dean said.
“The demand for marijuana is greatest among the young people and so that is whom the drug dealers are targeting, our school children, and the children in the communities. Some communities have reached the point where enough is enough and the residents are giving us 100 per cent support because they are not going to take it anymore. They too want their children to grow up in good, secure neighbourhoods,” Mr. Dean added.
Superintendent Dean said police intelligence indicates that the destruction of the buildings have had a positive impact on crimes in those areas where structures have already been demolished. Green spaces, in many instances, are expected to replace those abandoned structures.
“Many of the areas where we have destroyed buildings housing illegal drugs or weapons, operate criminal enterprises, we have seen a drop in crimes after those buildings have been demolished,” Mr. Dean said.
“In the instance of the buildings destroyed today, they have been under surveillance for quite some time; our officers observed the steady flow of persons in and out; we observed the illegal activities taking place and that’s why we moved in.
“I can assure you that no illegal activities will happen at this spot anymore. And that’s what we are doing, removing that opportunity for criminal enterprise to occur, while giving the criminal no place to hide, which is our intent – to push them out of the communities and into Fox Hill Prison which is where they belong.”
By Matt Maura
Bahamas Information Services