By Ken Carroll
On September 4, residents of North and Little Abaco attended a crime awareness meeting at the Urban Renewal 2.0 Crown Heaven Community Center. The meeting was well-attended as concerned citizens came to listen to Inspector W. Delancy (Royal Bahamas Police Force – North Abaco) talk about current issues the area is facing.
The meeting was called to order by Urban Renewal 2.0 Crown Haven Community Center Office Clerk Ellamae Russell.
Brother Simon Curry of Crown Haven was called on to start the meeting with a few song selections. The opening prayer was done by Minister Benney Russell from Cedar Harbour.
After the opening songs and prayer, Ms. Russell continued and gave a brief overview of the meeting – which was to bring awareness of the crime matters in the area. A key issue to be addressed was the chain of robberies related to boat engines in North Abaco as well as the formation of a Crime Watch Community Program.
After the briefing she called on Bishop Ken Carroll (Center Manager) to give a more formal introduction of the Speaker and officially welcome the residents.
Inspector Will Delancy, who is the Senior Police officer in charge of the North Abaco District, proceeded with a brief overview of the matters at hand. He introduced his team of Officers in attendance with him – ASP Malcolm Dean, and Corporal William Smith who have been assigned to the Crown Haven area to replace Corporal Garvin Mackey who was transferred to the Marsh Harbor office. Corporal Dean is one of the officers in charge of the Urban Renewal 2.0 Community Band.
Inspector Delancy said that other officers were expected to be in attendance, but had to be dispatched to deal with to two Haitian sloops that came into shore.
Inspector Delancy discussed the dynamics of crime prevention in small communities, such as the ones in North Abaco. He emphasized the role of citizens to inform police about strange persons and occurrences.
Building on this Insp. Delancy talked about the need for revisiting defunct Crime Watch Programs which had previously been in place in northern settlements.
Many questions from those in attendance were put forward, relating to theft and other domestic grievances.
Insp. Delancy warned residents of Fox Town and Crown Haven that offering to carry passengers who missed the regular ferry to Grand Bahama could make them accountable for any illegal activity said passengers may commit. This resulted in some tension with some in attendance since these passengers have been known to pay up to $500 for the service.
Insp. Delancy suggested residents should notify police before agreeing to transporting strangers.
One resident voiced his displeasure with the Police Department citing his experience with them when his boat engine was stolen. In reference to this specific incident the Inspector apologized but assured everybody that police-work will improved because a new officer, Corporal 1964 William Smith, has been assigned to the Crown Haven area.
Many other matters were discussed concerning enforcement of minor crimes and how to deal with civil matters.
Also in attendance that evening was Local Government Deputy District Councilors Diana Rolle and Sandra-Lee Parker of Fox Town along with Wilton Saunders of Wood Cay.
Inspector Delancy concluded that the attendance of the meeting showed that residents are ready to work together to make a difference.