DNA expresses concern over recent murders

  • Government House should enjoy highest level of security

  • Crime fighting initiatives must restore confidence of the people

  • More resources should be placed to treatment of mental health

  • Thoughts and prayers remain with victims, RBDF, Governor General & staff

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is deeply concerned by the news of the gruesome murder of a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marine at Government House earlier today.

Government House is the official residence of the Head of our nation - the Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. This historical and monumental property should enjoy the highest level of security in the land. It is therefore troubling that this hallowed property became a crime scene this morning.

This incident brings back painful memories for several Bahamians who have felt the negative effects of the crime epidemic within our country. Many Bahamians still recall the senseless killing of the aide to the Governor General some months ago and are beginning to question the quality of the safety measures surrounding the head of our commonwealth.

Concurrently, the news that a prominent businessman was murdered in Bimini earlier today has sent shock waves throughout that island and community.

It is not difficult to understand why Bahamians would be concerned about their own safety as a result of these recent occurrences. The government must move with haste to allay the fears of the populace and restore the confidence of the people in our crime fighting initiatives.

It is imperative that in addition to fighting the menace of crime, more focus is placed on and resources are allocated to ensure that individuals with mental health challenges receive the requisite attention. This issue must be considered from several perspectives including within the context of the enormous stress under which Bahamians are living today.

On behalf of the DNA, I wish to extend our heartfelt condolence to the families, loved ones and friends of the victims of these violent crimes. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as well as the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Governor General and the staff at Government House during this dark moment.

Buscheme Armbrister, Deputy Leader

Democratic National Alliance

YDA Laments T.A. Thompson Incident

The Young Democrats Alliance (YDA) is saddened by the recent violence at the T.A. Thompson Junior High School which resulted in the death of a student. Another promising life has been cut short by a senseless killing on our streets.

We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the parents, immediate and school family of the student that was fatally stabbed earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

This unfortunate incident brings to mind a similar stabbing at the Doris Johnson High School some time ago and it is heartbreaking to see history repeating itself.

The YDA is appealing to the youth of our nation to drop their weapons and stop the killing. The future of our nation lies in the hands and collective effort of the youth. We are the ones that must take on the mantle of leadership and receive the baton of nation building for the sustenance of our commonwealth.

It is time for us as Bahamians to come together and address the menace of youth violence. The YDA is calling on both Ministers of Education and Youth & Sports to collaborate with the families of all murder victims to implement initiatives aimed at preventing further killings and stemming retaliation in our communities.

We must come together as community leaders and patriots to strengthen the communities. Every member of a community can make a difference and help prevent youth violence. We are calling on all Bahamians to:

  • Be a mentor, tutor or volunteer at schools or youth-serving organizations to guide youth and model non-violence;

  • Support the healthy development of all young people in the community; whether they are youth at more immediate risk for violence or youth who don’t show obvious signs of difficulties;

  • Provide meaningful and appropriate opportunities through businesses or social/civic groups so youth can develop their interests, skills, and talents;

  • Encourage our youth when they behave well and help them see the benefits of making good choices;

  • Take immediate action when youth violence occurs by letting young people know violence is never okay, coach them on how to resolve conflicts calmly and nonviolently, and involve other adults such as parents, teachers, or law enforcement in this process.

The YDA is calling on all those who love our country to come together regardless of our differences for a common good. This is indeed a call to action. The Democratic National Alliance is grieved by the level of youth violence in our nation and stands ready to lead the charge to stem this epidemic.

Laron G. Moxey

YDA President

No More Delay - Implement Marco's Alert & Sex Offenders Registry!

“No form of violence can ever be excused in a society that wishes to call itself decent, but violence against children must surely rank as the most abominable expression of violence” - Nelson Mandela

  • Marco’s Alert pilot project successful yet no implementation

  • National Security Minister fails to understand importance of full implementation

  • Government agencies must do what is necessary to get the job done

  • DNA demands full implementation of law and enforcement of strict penalties

  • Swift justice for victims should be priority

Over the past few months the country has seen a rise in abduction and sexual assaults on children with the most recent case being that of an eight-year-old girl on Sunday March 3rd, 2019 and before that a three year old boy sometime in February. These are just the reported cases and it is only by the grace of God that these children did not lose their lives.

In 2016, the Mandatory Action Rescuing Children Operation (Marco’s) Law was enacted nearly five years later after the disappearance and murder of eleven-year-old Marco Archer with a commitment from the former Minister of National Security to move with haste for the implementation of the legislation inclusive of a Sexual Offences Registry and Alert system to be included.  To date, Marco’s Alert pilot project has been tried and proven yet there has been no implementation of the system.

The Bahamas with all its resources and examples to draw from in neighboring countries such as the United States of America should not delay or hesitate any longer for the full implementation of both a Sexual Offenders Registry and alert system. Our children need and require the full protection of the law and they need it now! The moral fiber of our country is at stake, the future of our nation is in danger and thus far, our government has failed to provide the adequate precaution and protection for our children.

With the successful pilot project of Marco’s Alert behind us, one can only assume that the Minister of National Security has dragged his feet or simply fails to see the importance to move with urgency for the implementation of this most crucial law.  Further, The Child Protection Act lays this law squarely at the feet of the Minister of National Security and The Commissioner of Police.

In May 2018, the Tribune reported that there were ‘differences’ between the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of National Security that prevented the full implementation of the Sexual Offences Act.  Attorney General Carl Bethel indicated that the Act would have been fully enforced after the budget period of that year, yet here we are today and several violations of our children later without the promised protection.

We demand an end to the pointing of fingers and excuses and implore the relevant government agencies to get the job done.  Although we may not be able to completely prevent violence against our children, we can make a concerted effort and cause offenders to think twice before they commit a crime.

The Democratic National Alliance is advocating for zero tolerance on this matter and we demand immediate action to the full extent of the law as it relates to the abduction and sexual violence on children. A report following Marco’s Alert should prompt swift justice for victims, stiff penalties and inclusion on the Sex Offenders Registry with no exceptions if or when the offender is released from prison.

Stephanie N. Lightbourne – President Women’s Alliance

Democratic National Alliance