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Family Islands Safe, Well, Except For The Murders

It would be funny, if it were not so serious.

In a foolishly vain attempt to keep tourists coming to the Out Islands, a police commissioner is telling people it’s safe to visit the Family Islands, despite EIGHT murders in the last twelve months.

Willard Cunningham, assistant commissioner of police for the Family Islands, says that the Family Islands are “very safe and secure”.

But he is not fooling anybody.

“I wish to say that the Family Islands are very safe and secure and this is due in large part to the excellent police and community relationships throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” Mr Cunningham told the Tribune newspaper.

Poor man apparently thinks that saying something makes it true.

In reality, the Bahamas police recorded eight murders in the Family Islands last year, with the greatest number occuring in Abaco and Bimini.

Due to the tiny populations of those islands, eight murders is an outrageous level of violent crime.

And considering that police in the Out Islands are understaffed and often corrupt, it is anything but “safe”.

Police are proud to claim that only one of the murders remains unsolved, but a closer inspection would reveal that there was not one conviction for any of the murders.

Just like in Nassau, the police charge people, knowing full well that the persons will never be convicted. In some cases, police officers make arrangements with corrupt attorneys to arrest their clients, just to make it look good and to  generate some good press for tourists, with the understanding that they the person charged will  not be convicted.  One man is rumoured to have been paid thousands of dollars to “take the fall” in a high-profile murder case in Nassau.  The case was delayed for years. Finally a judge acquitted the man because his right to a speedy trial was denied.  This was allegedly all planned in advance.

Bahamas police need to learn that real police work, not public relations, is what is needed in the fight against crime in The Bahamas.

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