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December 03, 2007


Steffan Antonas


It's shocking to see the crime rate continue to increase, especially the rate of violent crime like murder, in such a small society. Our per capita murder rate is particularly disturbing. It seems that the crime issue is definitively getting worse, rather than staying the same or improving.

While all the remedies you sited in your article, like a strengthening of Christian and family values and a focus on education, are fundamental to a winning "mix" of public and social policy in the fight against crime in the long term, there is little likelihood that any of these will curb the escalating violence in the short term (1-5 years). Indeed, it is likely that there is no real remedy. However, the recent published works of some of the world's leading economists and thinkers, like Steven Levitt, Malcolm Gladwell and Tyler Cowen suggest that crime rates, especially violent crimes are heavily influenced by social and economic incentives, and that small tweaks to social and public service programs can have a large effect in the near term on problems like crime.

For those bahamapundit.com readers that are interested, the following books can shed some light on our problem. Both of these books take an academic and unorthodox look at why crime rates dropped dramatically in New York City in the mid 90's, when the rate of violent crimes were at their highest in history and dropped by over two-thirds in under 5 years.

The Tipping Point: Malcolm Gladwell

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explains the hidden side of everything, by Steven Levitt

I would like to point to the "broken window theory" first as a good starting point - this was Gladwell's argument. He makes a convincing case that the pervasiveness of small things "like a broken windows" (i.e. petty crimes represented by the visual deterioration of society) signal to those citizens that are more likely to break laws that greater crimes are acceptable/tolerated. He points to a massive cleanup effort under Giuliani (a believer in the broken window logic) of the NYC subway system (fresh paint and a crackdown on petty crimes like fare beating) and how it led to a sharp drop in violent crime in the area.

What we need in New Providence is powerful leaders to sponsor creative problem solving government and police programs to direct incentives toward the right outcomes. Understanding what others have successfully accomplished in similar situations is a good start.

A final thought - Whether or not "the broken window theory" holds any answers, Nassau could use a serious cleanup. If not just for our declining tourism industry. It might be a great place to improve our economy on the whole. Could someone step up and start coordinating an island wide community service project to bring everyone together, I wonder?


"Could someone step up and start coordinating an island wide community service project to bring everyone together, I wonder?"

Nope. The adults are too busy and that would be seen as "white" by the majority 12-28 yr old crowd.

...In the past year I've had a chance to see many dozens of photos from various non-profit organizations and youth outreach and community services programs. Some photo albums going back 10 years or more.

These groups are mostly totally free, especially for children. They're often educational and can be good for the whole family to get involved in.

The overwhelming majority of the children in these photos were of every nationality and color except the average "black Bahamian". Why is that? I know 110% that these people aren't racist.

Thinking back to my own childhood, no disrespect to my mother but, I would not be the person I am today if it wasn't for a white woman from the states (who was a teacher in public schools) who somehow wound up treating me like her favorite nephew for almost 10 years. She basically taught me _everything_ I know.

If left up to my mother and the rest of my family and my schools, my head would be empty. (I'm talking about people who can't find the apostrophe key or know how to spell 'testimony')

drew Roberts

May be of interest to some:


all the best,


cremation urns

In comment to helping the poor. I use to work with homeless people, and we had a saying.

Give a man a fish, and he will be back tomorrow for more...

Teach a man to fish, and he can feed himself and his family.

Maybe thinking of ways to empower the poor with skills that can produce money is the key.

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