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2005-09-08 15:43:09

Police Silence Makes Bahamas More Dangerous

Lying, conniving and deceiving government hopes to bolster tourism while endangering Bahamians.

The failure of the police to warn communities about rape incidents in their areas makes the country more dangerous for women, a concerned Eastern Road homeowner said yesterday.

"You hardly ever hear about rapes or read about rapes in the papers. But they are happening all the time - the police simply don't tell the public about them," the caller claimed.

In a report in yesterday's Tribune, a caller claimed that a Canadian tourist was raped in an Eastern Road home last week.

Responding to the article, "Crime concerns on Eastern Road," a retiree living in the area, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the entire community is very concerned about the incident.
"The rape happened. I was out walking that day - it happened at midday between 1.30pm and 2pm. I came by the house where it happened. There were three police cruisers there and officers told me to return home because it was not safe," she said.


She gave The Tribune detailed information about the location of the house. "We are now all very afraid, terrified really. We are scared to get out of our cars. I don't even go out at nights anymore. Police won't tell us anything. It's a pathetic situation," she said.

Police on Tuesday confirmed that they were aware of allegations of a rape occurring in the area and that investigations into the matter were underway.

"We are doing an investigation at this time and once that is completed we will release information on that. We are always receiving allegations but we don't report those without evidence that they have occurred," press liaison officer Inspector Walter Evans said.

However; some feel that the police's policy to remain silent in such cases may be a disservice to the communities where such crimes occur.

The homeowner said that she would wish to be informed about rape allegations and other violent crime investigations in her neighbourhood, so as to better ensure her own and her family's safety.

"It's not fair to us women. Police don't give us any information and they should. We don't know what we're dealing with," she said.

She added that since last week, she has felt the need to change her daily schedule and habits. "I don't go walking anymore. I have four dogs and I'm afraid to walk them," she said.

The retiree said that she has heard of many crimes occurring in her neighbourhood which were never made public.

"I know there is the fear that if reports of rape and other crimes get out, it will scare away the investors, but nevertheless people have a right to know and protect themselves," she said.

By KARIN HERIG Tribune Staff Reporter

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