According to an article carried on www.caribbeannewsnow.com , police data indicates that of the 94 homicides which were committed in 2010, 73.4 percent or 69 were committed with the use of firearms.
The report quotes the territory’s Attorney General John Delaney as saying – while at a news conference at Cabinet’s Office – that, “The government is determined to make a full-frontal assault on firearm offences.”
Delaney, Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest and senior officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Office of the Attorney General were all present at the news conference after attending a meeting with Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on gun crime.
Turnquest said that a special inter-agency task force has also been set up to address the issue of illegal firearm possession.
“A special effort is being made to deal with illegal firearms and the prosecution of illegal firearm possession,” said Turnquest, who added that the gun court will begin shortly.
This media house understands that the court is to be operated at the magisterial level with police comprising the prosecution team and will see the AG’s Office taking up matters if necessary. One magistrate will be dedicated to serve at the gun court with the Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez and Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett making the decision as to who the magistrate would be.
Procedurally, the attorney general said they will seek to isolate gun charges from other charges an individual may face. The gun charge would then be prosecuted “as quickly as possible,” explained Delaney and further noted that the goal of the initiative is to ensure that those found in possession of illegal firearms are incarcerated rather than being allowed to reoffend.
“So this is excellent news. It’s a great initiative and we are very encouraged by what has happened thus far,” said Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade.
In 2010, police seized 351 illegal firearms and 6,224 rounds of ammunition. Firearm and ammunition seizures were up last year. In 2009, 312 illegal firearms and 4,388 rounds of ammunition were seized.
“It is also hoped that because (the gun court) is dedicated, that through specialization, that in itself would yield a certain efficiency,” said Delaney of the new court.
“So we’re trying to apply, really, basic and modern management techniques.”
Turnquest and Greenslade expect several men currently in police custody for alleged illegal gun possession will be arraigned before the new court on Monday.
(Content for this article was taken from The Nassau Guardian)