The Hope Town District Council feels the need to question our government on a growing crisis that largely is in play within our district; and this is the ongoing boat thefts.
Our district of Hope Town, Man-O-War, and Great Guana Cay (and other outlying cays) are targeted due to the high volume of boaters that frequent our area, due to the highly sought after tourism product that we offer.
Sadly, this quality tourism product and the livelihood of a large percentage of our people are under a serious threat due to the constant boat thefts that continue to haunt and plague our district.
We feel helpless as the arms of our government are not functioning to combat this grave threat to our #1 industry. NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN! If the government is not willing to prioritize this, then can we, the people, demand the right to bear arms (as stated in the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. constitution) to combat these thugs ourselves? Isn’t the government’s first priority to protect its citizens and their properties? If the government is not interested in making this a priority, step aside we will.
About a year ago, a few of the thieves were caught red handed and the courts let them out on bail and to date nothing has become of the case. When are we going to stop rewarding criminals for their despicable acts of criminal activity. The judicial system is broken and needs a complete overhaul.
We are not trying to be political, because this crisis has continued from one administration to the next, however the current administration is at the wheel and we seek their intervention.
We cannot help but to think of the corruption running rampant within this boat theft ring. We feel that due to the apparent lack of action that there is a strong possibility that those who are responsible for protecting us, are likely to be very much in the inner circle of these crimes. Why is this being ignored? Why isn’t anything being done about this?
Apart from the boat thefts and the damage it is doing to our tourism, I am ashamed that we can’t seem to keep the electricity on for 24 hours without interruption. With our steamy climate, our guests cannot go to the beach or in the boat all day, come home sunburnt to no AC or running water.
Privately, we on the Abaco cays have built our destinations into the envy of the region. The government is only a stumbling block in our progress.
If the government feels that the pressure is too great and cannot govern, allow us to establish our own power company to offer reliable service that will be on par with our A rate tourism product.
Further, we have not heard any of the elected parliamentary members make any statements on this crisis.
To the government, I say, prove to us and restore faith in the government by addressing this unattended issue of boat thefts.
We are on the verge of taking drastic measures to safeguard against the annihilation of our livelihood.
But we would rather that the Royal Bahamas Police Force do their job and due diligence and arrest these thugs and that the judiciary act and bring down stiff penalties to all offenders.
We beg for government intervention, and we expect results.
If not, we will protect our home.
Enough is enough!