A rash of break –ins and robberies has Abaconians on edge. Businesses and homes have been targeted by one or more burglary rings. Many of these homes and businesses have been targeted multiple times in the span of a few weeks.
Our officers seem unable to make significant headway on these matters. They are understaffed, underfunded and unable to match the growth of our community in recent years. All the while the criminal element is able to move, operate and hide out in the opaque and unregulated shanty town communities featured prominently in the center of town. All the while Abaconians’ laid back attitudes tempt career criminals from across The Bahamas.
The needs of Abaco twenty years ago are not our needs today. If Abaco is to continue matching Grand Bahama as the nation’s “Second City” then we need a police force to match. One that is sophisticated and equipped. One that is able to actually respond to crimes in real time. One that can at least afford to keep fuel in their vehicles. Neither of which are a possibility today.
Why are our officers in this position? This purgatory of impotence?
The same reason it takes half a decade to open a clinic. The same reason millions of dollars can go missing from public departments without consequence. The same reason it’s a safer bet to assume a credit downgrade every year as opposed to a transparent budget debate.
More officers and department funding is not the definitive solution to our crime woes. But it would be a heck of a good start. A simple reshuffling of priorities (both locally and nationally) might free up enough resources to make a difference.
The only thing at this point that cannot be tolerated is ignoring the problem.