History of Southern Division
The Southern Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force was the largest division in New Providence. Upon its inception, the area included as far west as Cable Beach, as far south as Carmichael Road and as far east as Fox Hill.
Today, the Southern Division consists of Southern Police Station located on Quakoo and Market Streets.
The records show that the first station which housed the police was located in a small structure on Baillou Hill Road opposite the Grants Town Post Office. At that time (April, 1983) the Officer in Charge of the station was Sergeant Clarke of the Constabulary (as the Police Force was once called at the time).
On April 15, 1893, there was a serious confrontation between the residents of Grants Town and members of the Constabulary. Sergeant Clarke was on duty with four other constables at the time the incident began. One of the officers attempted to arrest a man for obscene language and disorderly behavior, when a crowd gathered and began throwing stones. The station, which was on Baillou Hill Road, was very small and afforded little protection from the stone throwing mob. As darkness fell, some residents armed themselves with revolvers and commenced firing into the air. The officers vacated the station until the following day. As a result, the station was severely damaged and no one was seriously hurt but the event made the authorities aware that something had to be done to diffuse the situation. What ensued was an inquiry during which time it was decided that both the Old Police Force and the local Constabulary would be drilled together in order to form a sense of camaraderie, and also the Constabulary was divided into three divisions with different policing responsibilities. In 1909 an Act was passes which led to the formation of a New Police Force. This resulted in the combination of the Constabulary and the Old Police Force and retained the parliamentary characteristics of the former constabulary. Things were peaceful in Southern Division for a while. To address the unemployment situation in the country, the Government hired hundreds of workers for a major project in Nassau. Local workers were paid the minimum wage of four shillings per day, while their American counterparts made considerably more. The difference in wages resulted in resentments. On the morning of June 1st, 1942, disgruntled workers marched onto Bay Street with no apparent agenda or pre-chosen leader to voice their grievances. The demonstration soon turned to a riot which is today known as the Burma Road Riot. The looting lasted several days. One of the fatalities of the riot was the Grants Town Police Station which was in the way of the protesters march to Bay Street. This event was responsible for the Grants Town Post Office Building being used as a temporary quarters for the Police until the new station was built at the present location on Market and Quakoo Streets in 1952. A second story was added to the building in 1958 providing housing to twenty five men. By this time the Southern Station had become a division which included Cable Beach and Fox Hill Police Station. This continued until the 80’s when Southern Station shed its responsibility of the Western and Fox Hill areas. However, two additional stations were added: The Grove and Carmichael Stations. The Southern Division is and was always known as the training grounds for the Police Force and most officers, some of whom presently hold high ranks. The Division has been serving the Southern area for a long time and has adapted to the needs of the community as time passes. In 1991, noting the needs of the youths of our nation, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Youth Social and Athletic Club was formed. The result is a community where young people are given respect to make them feel special and have learned to respect the law and its officers and to see them as a mean of assistance and protection. Southern Division has turned itself into a station in the community and for the community. It serves with pride and will continue to serve with dignity and distinction.
The Southern Police Station is located on Market and Quakoo Streets in the Grant's Town Constituency. The Division is currently under the command of Superintendent Ashton Greenslade.The team are complimented by a staff of committed and passionate officers.
Today, the Division has been transformed to meet the needs of the citizens by the development and upgrade of areas such as Traffic Investigation, Detective Unit, Enquiries and Investigation, Character Certificates, Foots Patrols, Bicycle Patrol Unit, Intelligence Gathering and Neighborhood Policing Sections. Based on these implementations, the Divisions has consistent and steadily seen a rapid reduction in crime and effective response to all complaints.