December 11, 2019

Bahamas crime watch: how do you manage a country’s reputation with stories like these?

0
0



Pin It

Mitchell NiniBy Jim Walker From Jim walker’s Cruise Law

News accounts of violent crime against both tourists and residents in the Bahamas continue to be regularly published in the international and local press.

, the Managing Director of the Caribbean Council, has written insightful articles this year regarding the damage to the image of the Bahamas caused by articles in social media regarding such crime. He states that that the Bahamas, like other Caribbean islands, doesn’t have the social media skills necessary to promptly and effectively minimize damage to the country’s reputation when tourists become victims of violent criminal acts. I suggest reading his articles: Social Media and Managing Reputation published in January, and Reputational Damage published a few days ago in the Bahamas Tribune.

But how does the Bahamas manage its reputation when its newspapers are regularly filled with gruesome stories of violence virtually every day?

On April 30th the local newspapers in the Bahamas reported that a jury acquitted three Bahamian men in their 20’s of the “near-fatal stabbing” of a Canadian tourist, Mitchell Nini. Mr. Nini was stabbed 7 times in the chest, back and stomach when the thugs robbed a gold chain from Mr. Nini’s friend.

I have written before that tourists injured during violent crimes in Nassau cannot find justice in the archaic Bahamian legal system, although the Bahamian tourist police seem effective in boarding cruise ships at the wharf and arresting U.S. citizens for small amounts of pot.

I first learned of the acquittal of Mr. Nini’s attackers when his friends and family posted the news of the acquittal on Facebook and Twitter. The articles posted by his on Twitter indicate that the three men confessed to the crime but later claimed that the police beat them into signing the confessions.

The Canadian press published New Brunswick Man Warns of Traveling After Being Stabbed in Bahamas. The newspaper article shows a photo of Mr. Nini recovering from the vicious attack in the hospital while saying that tourists should stay clear of the island. He told the Global News “Whether you feel like you’re safe on the resort, as soon as you step off the resort you’re in a war zone.”

Mr. Nini’s reference to a “war” is appropriate.

Bahamian Prime Minister Perrie Christie told that Tribune newspaper last week that the government is “developing new crime fighting strategies to win the ‘war’ that they are fighting against the ‘hostile young men’ in the capital.”

Meanwhile, Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader Branville McCartney made the news stating that he does not feel safe given the ongoing scourge of crime in the Bahamas. He told the Tribune “I don’t feel safe in this country . . . We live in paradise, but we are paralysed by fear. We are in prison in our own homes because of the criminal element running amuck in this country.”

There is good reason for even the politicians to be afraid of crime in Nassau. In December, the Acting Prime Minister Philip Davis was robbed at gunpoint. Then in January a police officer assigned to guard a residence of the was arrested on suspicion of stealing a television at the residence. The latter is a petty crime I know, but you have to shake your head when the bad guys are bold enough to stick up the Acting Prime Minister and the police are stealing from the Prime Minister.

What’s the response from the Bahamas to these and many other stories about trouble in paradise? I have received many comments from the citizens of the Bahamas chastising me for suggesting that the out-of-control crime in Nassau also exists throughout the many islands which make up the country. But there are too many stories about crime against tourists outside of Nassau as well.

Last month Edgar George Dart, a 56-year-old British citizen who lived in Canada, was shot and killed and slowly died in front of his family after three masked intruders burst into his mother’s home in Freeport. And a 14 year-old U.S. girl was raped on one of the out islands just ten days ago.

Violent crime is a part of life in Nassau. Dangerous young men with knives and guns are menacing the residents and tourists alike. Do the families on Carnival, Disney and cruise ships know that a war is raging in Nassau and even the top politicians in the Bahamas are afraid of crime and have been victimized themselves? How can a country even attempt to manage its reputation as a paradise for tourists when the local residents are paralyzed by fear?

Consider reading: Bahamas Responds to Making the List of Top 10 Most Dangerous Cruise Destinations: “The Bahamas Is Safe”

Bahamas Weekly: The Bahamas – Still Paralyzed by Fear: “Over the past two weeks, newspaper headlines have recounted horrific stories of violence, murder and mayhem which have gripped communities here in New Providence and on Grand Bahama Island; cementing crime and the fear of crime as one of the country’s most pressing national issues.”

Have a thought? Leave a message below or join the discussion on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Global News

For more on this story go to: http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2014/05/articles/social-media-1/bahamas-crime-watch-how-do-you-manage-a-countrys-reputation-with-stories-like-these/

See also: “Social media and managing reputation’ By David Jessop at: http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/opinion/2014/1/31/50403/Social-media-and-managing-reputation

 

And another David Jessop story “China has to demonstrate that the Caribbean and its culture matters” was published in iNews Cayman on May 6 2014 at:

https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/china-has-to-demonstrate-that-the-caribbean-and-its-culture-matters/

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind

*