I want to join the Royal Bahamas Police. How do I do it?
If you are a Bahamian citizen, between 18 years and 30 years of age and in good health with a suitable educational background, and no criminal record, you can apply for a career with the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The Police College is located in Nassau and the training period is six months. There is also a branch of the Police College in Freeport, Grand Bahama. After training you will be posted to a station somewhere in The Bahamas. After 18 months or so you can apply for specialisation in a particular area through further study and completing courses in various aspects of policing. Policing is an exciting and rewarding career. For more information contact the Police College in Nassau.
POLICE COLLEGE 1 242 355 4444 and follow this link http://www.royalbahamaspolice.org/recruitment/index.php
What about the police reserve?
The police reserve is made up persons who are least 18 years old. You must be a resident of The Bahamas, have an educational background acceptable to the police service, undergo three months of training afterwhich you are required to pass a proficiency examination on General Police Duties. Reserve officers, when on duty, have the same powers as a member of the regular police service. They are also governed by the Police Act as are the officers of the regular force. Reserve officers are required to put in at least 35 hours of service a month for which a stipend is paid. Reserve constables can also be promoted within the ranks. It is an excellent form of community service. For more information contact the Alice Town Bimini Police Station or the Police Reserve office at Police Headquarters in Nassau 242 302 8150.
I lost my passport. What should I do?
Without delay notify the nearest police station that your passport is missing, lost or stolen. If it is damaged bring your passport to the Administrator's Office. The staff will give you instructions on what to do next
Your passport is a very valuable government document. While your name is in it it does not belong to you. It is the property of the Bahamas Government. If you lose it or have it stolen report it immediately. The police officer will take a written statement from you concerning your passport's loss and the circumstances surrounding its loss or being stolen. After an investigation a police report may be issued to the Passport Office indicating that the police enquiry into the matter is complete and recommend that a new passport be issued. The investigation can take weeks or even months. The Government wants to be sure that the passport is indeed lost, damaged or stolen. The police want to be satisfied that you or another person did not sell your passport, which is a very serious crime, or that you were not simply careless with it. Your passport is a precious document. Secure it in a safe place when you do not require it. Never allow another person to have possession of it. Do not leave it with anyone. Treat it very carefully. Only after an exhaustive investigation will you be able to get another one.
Do the police still wear the white jacket?
Yes. The short-sleeved white "bush jacket" is the regular day duty dress of the police service during the summer months. The long sleeved tunic is worn during the winter months. However, officers in Nassau and Freeport who work in specialised areas such as mobile patrol do not wear it except for ceremonial purposes. The striped blue shirt is seen most frequently in the Family Islands because there is often no dry-cleaner or laundry facility with the capability of cleaning and then heavily starching and pressing the white jackets and tunics. So, in the out islands officers generally wear the white uniform only on ceremonial occasions and more commonly wear the blue striped "depot" shirt for everyday use.The Bahamas police uniform has seen few changes over the past 100 years. It is based on a British design and is very similar to the tropical dress uniform of the Royal Marines and the pre-1950s uniform of the Metropolitan Police in London. Most Commonwealth police forces in the West Indies continue to wear the colonial uniform in some form as it is still recognised as an outstanding looking uniform. Officers of the rank of inspector and above wear a khaki coloured uniform, again it too is based on British army design. The women officers wear a uniform similar to the men but obviously designed for female use. Officers are issued with the white pith helmet also but are most often seen wearing the peaked cap.
I was walking on the road with two friends and a police stopped us to ask who we were and what we were doing. Can he do that?
If a police officer has good reason to suspect that something is amiss he can ask you for your name and what you are doing. If he suspects you are not telling the truth you can actually be arrested until your identity can be verified. This is not an example of the police hasseling you. If an officer is not sure who you are he can ask. Remember, the police want to keep the community safe and knowing who is out and about is part of his duty. You might fit the description of someone the police are looking for or you could be in an area where a crime was reported. Again, its about keeping everyone safe and everyone's property secure.
What if a police officer acts in a way that is not fitting for a police. Or, say a police is taking advantage of his position as a police, what can I do?
The Commissioner of Police has made it clear to both the police service and the public that corruption or abuse by police officers will not be tolerated. Contact the Police Discipline and Complaints Unit in Nassau. 242 322-4444.
How can I join the Bimini Fire Brigade?
While the Police are responsible for the fire service in The Bahamas, the out islands, and Bimini is included, needs volunteers to serve as fire-fighters along with the police. If you are 18 years old or older contact the District Administrator's Office in Alice Town and give them your name. You'll be placed on the volunteer list and be called out for occasional training and fire practice. 347 3222
How can I keep my house or business safe from thieves?
First, lets talk about your house. Thieves will be able to enter your house if your doors and windows are not secured. Be sure that your doors have dead bolt locks and that your windows cannot easily be opened. A dead bolt lock that requires a key to be used on both sides is best. This way if a robber enters your house through a window he will not be able to use the doors to get out and thus is unable to carry large items. Remember, too, that proper and effective lighting can deter a thief. Be sure you have security lights around your house or motion detector lights. Thieves hate light! Also, inside your home you can install, for very little money, motion detectors that will sound an alarm. On your major appliances scratch your name or telephone number in an area not readily visible. If it is stolen and later found you can easily ID your property. Also, write down the serial numbers of your most expensive items. This will help ID the property when it is located. Much of this information also applies to a business place. Have adequate lighting and install an alarm. Within your shop be sure the shelves are arranged in a way that the store cashier or other staff can always see clearly every corner of the shop. This will make it more difficult for people to steal from you If you enter your house or business and discover that it has been entered and possibly items stolen DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING AND DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE INTO YOUR HOUSE OR SHOP. Do not disturb the crime scene in any way as valuable clues can be lost. Finger prints, shoe prints, dust prints, fibres from clothes, even hair strands can now be used to identify a thief. Call 919 and tell the police officer that you have discovered a break-in. For more information on security contact the police station and a police officer will be happy to survey your premises and assist you with security questions and planning. 347 3144
Fingerprints on a coffee mug help to identify the person who broke into a house.
A Scenes of Crime Officer is a specially trained police professional who is able to process a crime scene and collect forensic material that often leads to arrests. The use of modern fingerprint technology and analysis together with other new evidence processing procedures helps investigators to solve crimes. Crime solving involves analytical thinking, problem solving skills and techniques and science. The Royal Bahamas Police in Bimini are able to process some of this material in its own lab area. The Bimini Division is also able to send forensic material to police laboratories in Freeport and Nassau and if necessary to crime labs in the United States.
Why, on Bimini, do we need to wear helmets on our scooters? I don't drive fast.
The Road Traffic Regulations regarding helmets are part of the Law that applies to the entire Bahamas. It's really a safety matter. The Government of The Bahamas, the Parliament of The Bahamas, enacted the Road Traffic Act. The Royal Bahamas Police have a responsibility to enforce it. The helmet is worn to protect you against serious head injuries should you have an accident. Some say they do not drive fast or that they are good drivers. That may true, but there are other people on the roads, in trucks and cars, who may not be so careful and could slam into you, knock you off your bike and injure you. If you are wearing a proper safety helmet you can protect yourself from brain injuries. Remember, scrapes and bruises heal. Bones will mend, but head injuries and brain injuries are often less likely to heal completely. So, protect yourself. And remember, if you have a brain injury you can become a burden to your family. Therefore, it is just the smart thing to do. Wear your helmet. Protect yourself and your family.
Also, carrying a child with you on a scooter is very wrong. It is so dangerous and reckless that it makes a person wonder if some people really do care for and love their children. Keep it safe.
I hear the police sometimes refer to things as a civil matter. What is that?
A civil mater is when two or more people have a dispute over land, property or money, or they simply can't get along with one another. These are not criminal matters, but rather civil matters. These matters are dealt with by the Courts (Civil Side). For example, two people are arguing over a bill and over an amount to be paid. Or someone doesn't pay a bill. The police do not get involved in these situations. They refer people to the Administrator's Office, where these people are put in civil court before the magistrate who hears the case and issues a ruling. The police can then enforce the ruling. If people can't get along the Court may bind a person "over to keep the peace" for a period of time. Should a problem ensue after they have been "bound over" the police can enforce the Court's order and jail a person for breaking the "peace".
Is bail an automatic right?
No. When a person is arrested and charged with an offence they have the right to apply for police bail which may or may not be granted depending on circumstances. Once in Court the police bail, if granted, is then withdrawn and Court bail may then be granted if the judge deems it appropriate. If the Court believes that the person is a danger to the community, or may well flee the jurisdiction of the court and not appear, bail can be denied. Everyone has the right to apply for bail. It is the Court which determines if bail will be granted or if the person will be remanded in custody until the trial begins. If a person is denied bail at the Magistrate's Court they may apply for bail at the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court may choose not to grant bail given the situation of the accused.
How do I get my driver's licence?
When you are 17 years old take your passport or a photo ID to the Administrator's Office and apply for a PERMIT. The cost is $10 and this permits you to drive a vehicle along with a licenced driver who is in the front passenger seat. This is the time when you learn to drive and develop your driving skills. When you feel you are ready for the written driver's examination return to the Administrator's Office and attempt the test. If you are successful a police officer will take you on a road test. If successful you will be given your driver's licence. Remember, keep your licence valid and up to date. Foreigners must be at least 17 years of age to operate a vehicle in The Bahamas -- even if they hold a valid licence but are younger than 17 years.
The police in Bimini have several computers now and specially trained detectives. Bimini, it seems, is getting pretty high tech.
Technology is an important component of modern policing. The Bimini District is using computers extensively and specially trained officers are able to access and enter critical information into the police computer systems to assist in policing the islands of the District. The police have modern equipment to process crime scenes also and a modern communications system which includes satellite phone hookups with police stations and control rooms throughout the country. The police boat is also adequately equipped with communication technology and GPS systems to assist in any emergency at sea. However, the best tool the police often have but need more often is INFORMATION. In order to keep the community safe the police need to have information about who is doing what or who did what. If you know of a crime that has been committed and have information that would help to solve it please call the police station. You are then doing your part in making Bimini a safer place. However, when you know something and keep it to yourself you are in a way approving of the crime and allowing it to continue. The police want to protect everyone's life and property. Information helps us to do that. If you know something share it. Your information can be given quietly and privately - no one needs to know its you that provided it...not even the police. Anonymous callers are important to the policing of Bimini. Help us keep all of us safe and our property secure.
I want to get my car licenced. What do I need to do?
Bring your vehicle to any of Bimini's police stations. You must present your valid driver's licence, your valid certificate of insurance and ownership papers. Your vehicle must pass the inspection so be sure it is in good working order. The police officer will inspect your vehicle and determine if it has passed. If not, the officer will explain what the vehicle needs to successfully secure an inspection certificate. The licence plates, discs and stickers are issued by the Road Traffic Department in the Administrator's Office. They also collect the fees.
What about TINTS on my car windshield? Just what is the issue?
The issue is safety. Police officers need to see clearly who is operating a vehicle. An officer needs to know how many people are in a vehicle before approaching it. If someone stole your vehicle, the thieves could be armed. If your vehicle is involved in careless driving the driver needs to be identified by the general public and the police. Its all about being safe.
Tints are illegal if they do not permit a clear unobstructed view of the interior from the exterior. You CAN tint your windows but not so dark that the interior cannot be seen. If you are unsure, bring your vehicle to the police station for a tint evaluation. Its about being safe.
Can I get a licence for a gun?
You can apply for a gun licence at any police station. Firearms are to be used for hunting purposes. The firearm must be presented to the police for inspection. A lengthy application must be completed which must include passport size photos of yourself. You must also bring your passport, driver's licence and national insurance number to the station. You must have two character reference letters attached to your application and a current police character certificate. Further, a police officer must inspect the place where you will keep your firearm to insure that it is being held in a safe/strong box that is attached firmly to a wall or floor. Being in possession of an unlicenced firearm carries a substantial consequence involving fines and imprisonment. It is a safety concern. Guns in the hands of children or criminals are weapons that can cause intimidation, injury and death.
What if I don't come to court after I receive a summons?
Attending court after you receive a summons to do so is required by law and your failure to appear will result in your arrest and detention and possible remand in the prison until the next court date. A summons, in the Queen's name, is a formal command from the Head of State to appear before a judge in court. Do not take a summons lightly. Even if you are given a witness summons you cannot disregard it.
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