Among other Caribbean countries, The Bahamas experiences a high level of national development and standard of living. Nonetheless, the country is not immune to crime and violence. A day seldom goes by that the main story in the evening news is about crime or violence in The Bahamas. The first thing that people wake up in the morning thinking about is how many persons were killed last night or what is the latest murder count. Crime in this paradise has become prevalent and has put the Bahamians way of life in jeopardy. In the Bahamian society today, crime is greatly affecting communities, it seems as though it is everywhere. Ranging from something as simple as stealing a cellular device, to the more evident violent gang crimes. Never in the history of our Bahama land should a parent have to worry about if their child will return home from school. There are many ways in which crime can be reduced, such as enforcing laws, reducing the smuggling of firearms and drugs, and effective parenting.
In today’s society there are laws that are in place which people do not obey because they do not fear the negative repercussions of their action, because there are none. The court system and the law enforcement need to be firmer with the implantation of these laws. Currently no one is afraid to commit a crime because they suffer no consequences. In order to reduce crime, there needs to be fear put in the offenders. By doing this it discourages criminals from wanting to commit a crime again and it detours others from ever wanting to commit a crime. If the offenders see that the government has applied stricter regulations, they would be too afraid to do anything. Capital punishment should be enforced by all means, the Bible says, “If you live by the sword, you shall also die by the sword”. This means that if someone would like to live their life murdering people then they shall die by murder. All third time offenders and hanger should be hanged. Why? Because if they are constantly being arrested and proven guilty, they are not learning from their previous mistakes. Anyone who is capable of taking another person’s life, should undergo capital punishment. This would have a definite positive impact on the crime rate because criminals will become aware of what the government is doing and will cease to carry out such villainous actions. Whereby one of the most effective ways to reduce crime is by enhancing law enforcement.
The Bahamas’ coastline provides innumerable opportunities to smuggle drugs and weapon. There are simply too many places to hide, stash, and transit illegal goods and too few resources to track, locate, and arrest perpetrators. If there were more police and defense force officers it would be much easier to assist in ridding the country of this issue. Crime can be lowered in The Bahamas today specifically by focusing on reducing the number of illegal firearms out on the streets. “When a little boy, sitting innocently in his mother’s house doing his homework, is gunned down, war must be declared on those without regard for human life.” There should be an act of importing guns illegally into the country on the level of treason, as it destabilizes the country. Also, it is a most severe threat to national security and bail should be disallowed for persons convicted of illegal firearms a second time. Because of the influx of illegal guns on the streets today, many young people are getting into negative activities resulting in the deaths of many young men. Statistics from The Bahamas 2018 Crime ; Safety Report show that around 80 percent of the 719 murders committed between 2010 and 2015 were committed with firearms. National Security Minister Marvin Dames said at the time, police seized 234 firearms and 7,820 rounds of ammunition for 2017 alone. That number has since increased. Many people are also being killed through retaliation. This “eye for an eye” epidemic is growing rampant in The Bahamas. Therefore, this is a problem that’s only going to get worse if the government does not enforce stricter policies when it comes to guns.
In a report by Marlon Johnson and the former Civic Group known as Safe Bahamas, entitled Citizens Safety Diagnosis, Bahamas Report, from 2004. The period of 1988 to 2001 suggests a clear and positive correlation between crime and unemployment levels. The increasing rate of crime and violence over time also seems to in some way corresponded with the increase in the number of households headed by single parent. Owing to the fact of the high rate of unemployed Bahamians particularly young males, most males would turn to illegal activities in order to earn money fast. One of the biggest illegal ways to earn money would be selling illegal drugs. Drugs and weapons go hand in hand. Due to the fact that these drugs are being sold illegally, having a gun for safety is a necessity. Most crimes committed are often the results of a previous crime. Not only do these unemployed persons sell drugs as a means to making their ends meet but they also participate in robberies. Some are even being hired as hit-men, going around killing just so that they can put food on their table. All because unemployment all these crimes are committed for the purpose of quick payment, these crimes can be avoided if more males were given the proper means to be employed Many criminals are products of their environment. People commit crimes because of poverty, anger, addiction, gangs, bored or oblivious to the law. In today’s society many Bahamians are feeling the effects of the recession. Numerous individuals are losing their jobs, and those that are still working their wages are being cut tremendously. Large number of homes are being foreclosed and people are being left homeless. Many of them resort to crime to feed themselves or their families. Due to this unemployment guns are being found more and more on the street and they are falling into the wrong hands.
It has been said that the mindset of the young Bahamian generation has shifted from the need to obtaining a proper education to now only being concerned with the accumulation of wealth and materialistic things. According to Fabiola Castillo, journalist at Ezine Articles “It is a statistical fact that the crime rate is inversely proportional to the education level of the culprit.” This means that in The Bahamas today compared to many years ago there are more persons that are growing up in families that do not constantly stress the importance of getting an education, and in cycle this means they are more likely to be living out on the streets getting involved in negativity. Children are like sponges, they absorb the things that they see and hear around them. Picture this, a parent and their child are in the food store and the parent decides that they do not want to pay for a few groceries so the parent shoves them into their bag right in front of the child. Is it expected for the child not to think it is okay to steal? If they saw the parent do it, they will form the impression that it is okay and may want to steal for themselves. They may go into stores and steal candies or snacks, and not be chastised. When these children grow up, they become thieves, as a result they believe it is the way of life rooted in them since they have been stealing for so long. This may result in these children growing up to be menaces in society or even becoming part of the system. As parents it is important to set good examples in which children will follow, Thus, parents must be very careful about what they do in the front of their children. The nurturing of a child is a key aspect of producing a good citizen. Parents need to take a more active role in their children’s lives and observe how they behave.
A dysfunctional household may be one of the leading factors which may result in the leading increase in the rate of crime in the Bahamian society. Every house hold is not perfect but in order to maintain a civil or peaceful society there must be some form of formal wholesome structure within a family house hold. Single parent homes provide a very difficult environment for children to grow up in. Due to the fact that there is only one parent providing for the family, life may get a little stressful and not be able to supervise the children. There are a lot of shows on tv, videogames, and social media that all promote violence so monitoring the children’s activity is necessary. The American Psychological Association (APA) considers violent video games a risk factor for aggression. Studies have shown that playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings in both the short-term and long-term. Violent video games can also desensitize people to seeing aggressive behavior and decrease prosocial behaviors such as helping another person and feeling empathy. Children tend to act one way around their parents and then act a whole different way when they are not around. Do not only be involved in their personal life but also in their education. Stay in contact with teachers, and view each child’s progression in classes. The Bible says, “You spare the rod, you spoil the child”. So, parents must also discipline their children when they have done wrong. Physical punishment should not be the only form of discipline practiced even though this is the most common here in the Bahamian culture sometimes firm scolding will work to keep children in line. If the children do not respect the parents how are they expected to respect others?
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$20 million loan to help reduce crime and violence in The Bahamas, targeting at risk youths and strengthening institutional capabilities of the justice system, among other actions. Recent statistics points to a prevalence of violence to solve inter-personal and community disputes, especially among youth. The project is made up of four components. The first component seeks to improve behaviors for non-violent conflict resolution in New Providence by including differentiated evidence-based interventions to address social norms that promote the acceptance of violence. The second component aims to help at-risk youth find jobs through training and employability programs. The third component seeks to strengthen the justice administration system to better prosecute and sentence crimes by including, among other, an integrated electronic system for case management and the introduction of innovative dispute resolutions mechanisms. The fourth component seeks to better help reintegrate offenders to society through activities such as the design and implementation of a comprehensive rehabilitation model and a curriculum built on evidence-based practices. Consequently, by focusing on those four simple points crimes in this country would drastically decrease.
To conclude, the government should simply enforce capital punishment, make the penalties for offenders stricter, assist with the upbringing of children and disciplinary actions be taken. When most tourists think of the Bahamas the picture of clean green pristine care free island paradise comes to mind as advertised and promoted around the world. The Bahamas’ tranquil picture should not be disrupted by crime. Many of the tourists do not see the other side of the picture as shown on the brochure. No one wants The Bahamas to be known for crime instead of the beautiful scenery. Hence this country must come together as a nation to help prevent and stop crime. Not only is it the job of the police force to help to prevent crime but also members of the communities. The Bahamas as a small nation should take heed to this crime problem and try to find ways in solving them. The crime rate will continue to persist if drastic measures aren’t taken. The crime problem cannot be eliminated, but can be contained and reduced if the required steps are taken.