Many Bahamians believe that the police somehow fudge the numbers, either through reclassification of murders or under-reporting to the public.
As a result many news organizations and online groups regularly maintain their own counts as the year progresses.
However, I don’t recall there ever being any major “callout” of the police stats based on tangible facts. Until Now.
In a recent news article Dr. Duane Sands, Head of PMH Head of Accident and Emergency, had this to say
“There seems to be a significant difference between the numbers we presented at the hospital and the numbers reported by the government or the police force,” Dr Sands said.
“Now, somebody ought to explain that. Why is it that we have 278 shootings recorded in the records of the Princess Margaret Hospital, not inclusive of Doctors Hospital, not inclusive of the Rand Hospital, yet the police can only account for 170-odd shooting incidents?”
…we have in 2013, 278 shootings and 241 stabbings and in totality that comes out to more than 500 incidents. Yet in totality (the police force is) saying we have less than 160 murders or attempted murders; somehow that doesn’t add up. I raised the question before as to whether or not the numbers that we have been quoting previously have either by happenstance or deliberate manipulation, led the Bahamian public into thinking that things are rosier than they actually are.” source
Obviously something is very wrong with The Bahamas crime statistics. Are the police numbers accurate or are they fudging the numbers like many believe?
Why is it not a legal requirement for any hospital, clinic or doctor to report treating gunshot wounds? Are the police numbers wrong because they classify these things differently, not at all or the hospital don’t report all incidents?
It’s hard to say.
But in the interest of transparency and public confidence in the police force, the Government should act to remove any confusion around the Bahamas crime statistics.
However, Dr. Bernard Nottage, Minister of National Security says he has no reason to question the RBPF statistics.
“Dr. Sands and those are intent on disputing the police statistics,” said Nottage when asked to comment on the disparity between the figures.
“I have no reason to disbelieve the statistics that police have presented.
“If Dr. Sands indicates that he has figures from other sources that are greater than those that he got from the police, I can’t dispute that because I don’t know who his sources are.
“The police are not in the business of fabricating their statistics, so I accept what they have said and if he is able to prove that it is different I would imagine that police can only record those things that are reported to them or [they are] contacted about.” source
Ok, so we see party politics rears its ugly head; It’s the FNMs trying to discredit the PLP so we ain’t checking response.
But here’s the deal, the sources of the stats is PMH Accident & Emergency director. How can the Minister of National Security dismiss those statistics as if they came from a local tabloid?
Shouldn’t he at least launch his own investigation to verify them or at least check with the other hospitals?
Obviously there is something amiss and it should be looked into, if only to clarify this in the minds of the public. Because whether the police stats are right or wrong this is just another blow to the public’s confidence in the RBPF and Government in general.
How do you feel about the revelation of the discrepancy between the police stats and those of PMH?