Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said yesterday the police force’s goal is to keep the murder count under 100 in 2023 — a goal he set last year, but one that was not achieved as criminals continued to unleash violence in communities across New Providence in particular.
“Our goal is to hold the line and reduce the overall number of homicides for 2023 to double digits,” Fernander told reporters at a press conference to announce his policing plan for 2023.
Fernander said he didn’t have a specific number in mind.
“No, I don’t have a number in mind. I wish it could have been at zero,” he said.
“But we see what is happening and we are trying to stop that trend. We are looking for members of the public and other stakeholders to work with us to make that happen.”
Murders increased by eight percent in 2022 from 119 in 2021 to 128.
March 2022 was the deadliest month in the nation’s recorded history with 22 murders.
“We cannot afford to ever repeat this tragedy, the bloodiest month in history,” said Fernander.
Pointing to the start of Police Month, Fernander revealed that officers will be flooding the streets.
“We will shift our focus to a month of police operations,” he said.
“This will entail flooding our streets with police operations in all areas throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“We will be leading by the front. I will be in full force along with my senior executive leadership team in this fight against crime.”
Fernander’s policing plan features six priorities: revolutionizing community policing to prevent crime; taking a zero-tolerance approach to minor and major crimes; restructuring internal processes to impact crime prevention strategies; partnering with law enforcement counterparts to expand policing capacity; practicing approaches to youth and gang violence; and optimizing technology in crime prevention and police operations.
“We want to stem the fear of crime,” said Fernander.
“The way we set the tone and strategy early in the year will determine how we finish.”
He warned, “Criminals, be aware, we are coming.”