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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Bahamas Murder Surge Shows No Sign of Abating in 2023

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With a little more than 2 weeks in the new year, the Bahamas is now faced with nearly 10 murders, all but one instance, occurring in New Providence.

2022 ended with 123 murders and now it seems the murder rate is set to trend upward for 2023.

Killings have taken their toll on New Providence and it is worrying that the surge may continue.

Those most impacted are young men.

The latest murder case involved 30-year-old Defense Force Officer Alvarez McCoy who was gunned down at his residence in Fox Hill on Wednesday morning after arriving home in his vehicle.

About 4 hours before that tragedy, a man identified on social media as Robert aka Wong, 32, was killed on the front porch of a family residence on Sumner Street, Red Land Acres when gunmen exited a vehicle and fired gunshots at him.

Then earlier on Tuesday morning, a man in his mid-thirties was killed in his car on his way to work when gunmen intercepted him and shot through his car window, killing him instantly.

Then Monday, in Abaco, 24-year-old John Joseph, was killed around 6.30 pm as he arrived home in Bahama Coral. A gunman shot him multiple times and fled in a vehicle.

Why is this happening?

Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander has attributed the heightened crime last year to illegal guns on the streets and bail granted to suspects charged with murder who commit other acts of violence after release.

Just Wednesday, he told reporters that the criminals charged with murder last year were already given bail and are back on the streets.

“When you look at the [number] of individuals who were charged last year, and the [detection] rate is high. You don’t see that in the world when you’re talking about over 60 percent [detection] rate with respect to homicides.

“And out of that 67 percent, you are looking at between 80 to 90 matters solved, and if you were to do your research, you would note that the majority of those individuals are on bail as we speak. That’s a problem,” he said.

“I’m talking about individuals who are on bail for two and three murders and something is wrong with that…

“Individuals who are found in possession of a firearm, 95 percent of the serious crimes that are occurring the weapon of choice is a firearm, so we want to work hand in hand with the … justice system to make sure that it works and we will do our part as law enforcement,” Fernander said.

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