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2005-12-09 22:06:45

Leading Psychiatrist Says Police Overburdened

'Bahamians are still in denial that crime has changed in Nassau in the past five years,' Dr. Allen says.

Leading psychiatrist Dr David Allen has claimed that increasing criminal statistics in the country has become a burden to law enforcement.

Dr Allen exposed the depth of the problem while he was a guest on a local radio talk show. He said the recently adopted "gangs and guns" culture has become too much.

"Bahamians are still in denial that crime has changed in Nassau in the past five years," said Dr Allen. "In Fox Hill, in Bain Town and in certain other areas the young men have guns."

"The crime situation is not a simple thing anymore," he continued. "My concern is that the police are overburdened [and] as far as I am concerned, crime is a major issue." Dr Allen added that unless the problem is curtailed, The Bahamas will suffer the fate of other Caribbean countries that are overrun by criminal activities.

"I think that it is important to stress that something very sinister is happening in our region," said Dr Allen. "You see what has been happening in Trinidad [and] Jamaica for the past six months and it will freak you out.

"Why do we think The Bahamas is any different," he continued. "It is only a matter of time. In other words, we have not been successful in this region in curtailing crime. So we have to do something that is drastically different." The world-renowned psychiatrist insisted that the government must beef up The Royal Bahamas Police Force's (RBPF) manpower.

"I don't know where their numbers are," said Dr Allen. "The police have one of the most disciplined approaches to their work and I would like to see more of them.

"I think in order [for us] to not become the same way as Jamaica or Trinidad is, we should import [officers]," he said. "We need to bring up the numbers as much as we can, to take care of this crime problem."

Recently, Dr Allen joined a growing number of high-profile Bahamians by calling for the death penalty to be imposed in a bid to stamp out rising murder rates.

Capital punishment, he advocated, would be a major deterrent - a view shared by Police Commissioner Paul Farquharson and senior church figure Rex Major.

By: JASMIN BONIMY, The Nassau Guardian

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