Police Jurisdiction And Authority In Barbados

A Former Police Officer Gives RBPF Commissioner Dottin Some Advice…

The recent news that members of the Royal Barbados Police Force had been refused entry to Millennium Heights, St Thomas, Barbados, a gated community, when they were investigating a complaint of domestic violence from someone within the gated community, is an indication that the Commissioner of Police, his Officers, NCOs and the men in this 1500 force do not know their authority under the Laws of Barbados. Further, it is my understanding that this has happened at gated communities on several occasions prior to this.

When a police is sworn in, he or she is sworn in as a peace officer, which is separate from a police officer, or gazetted officers, which means a commission. Both are in fact peace officers. Those officers attending Millennium Heights and being refused entry, should have immediately radioed the control of this refusal, and given the security guards the alternative of allowing them immediate entry or being arrested for obstruction of a police officer carrying out his or her duties. The only way that the police officer has no jurisdiction in Barbados is on the premises of an Embassy, which is considered a part of the country being represented. Hence people seeking asylum attempt to climb fences on to the embassy compound, and the police cannot touch them.

Training Needed

The fact that this matter reached the public domain should serve as a warning to the Commissioner of Police that all ranks in Barbados need re-training, not only in their authority with powers of arrest, and most important, the amount of force used when carrying out an arrest, i.e. only that amount force to be used to overcome the resistance to the policeman’s force.

Complaints Procedures

This re-training should also include the recording of complaints in writing in the station diary, and the identification of the policeman, when asked by the complainant; who is assigned to investigate these complaints, and the investigation be supervised by a senior NCO to ensure that it is done thoroughly and quickly. Too often the public make complaints to a policeman or to a police station, and there is no record of that complaint, and when the complainant wishes to know the status of the investigation into his complaint, there is no record.

Similarly, if a complainant makes a complaint at a police station, they often give him the run around that this falls under the jurisdiction of another police station. The correct procedure is that where the complaint is first made, it is recorded, and it is the responsibility of the police to see that it is directed to the right jurisdiction and the complainant advised accordingly.

When correspondence is received from the police and there is no file number quoted, it could indicate that there is no official record within the police force of the matter. Of course, police statistics can be made to look very favourable if complaints are not recorded, as then it would show a lack of criminal or other activity within the area.

Poor Investigation Into A Suspicious Death

I have been indirectly involved in a matter in the Coroner’s Court which started in 1997, when the body of Brenda Hayhurst, female, U.K. citizen, 54 years, was found floating in the sea off Long Bay, Christ Church. I was appalled to learn that there was a very poor post mortem with only blood samples for alcohol and drugs, but no stomach contents, vaginal smears, etc. The body was not badly decomposed, and had only been missing about 36 hours. Certain basic investigative methods were not followed, including obtaining the telephone records and identifying those numbers that she had been in touch with shortly before her death.

The motor vehicle that she had rented on the Monday, has never been found, but parts of a similar motor vehicle were found on the beach between Sam Lord’s Castle and Long Beach . The bumper was definitely identified as being from the vehicle because of certain defects, but without serial numbers, one could only say that the parts were similar. It is now 10 years since the body was recovered, and the Coroner has not been able to give a written judgment. This means that the deceased’s Will, if she had one, could not be probated.

Coroner

As a result of this sudden death, I made certain enquiries and found that around 2002 there was a backlog of over 500 Coroners’ cases outstanding, dating back to around 1980. The coroners were, in fact, magistrates of the various jurisdictions in Barbados , who acted as coroners in their jurisdiction. A coroner with island-wide jurisdiction was appointed, and in 3 – 4 years, this backlog of Coroner’s cases has been reduced to about 10. I have had the opportunity of sitting in the Coroner’s Court, and the Coroner reading her findings, and I am impressed with the way in which each matter is handled.

However, in the last two years, there has been a rapid turn over of police presenters in the Coroner’s Court. This affects the work of the Coroner’s Court as the police presenter usually comes through the Prosecutor’s office, and knows how to deal and present the evidence collected by the investigating officers. Within the police force, it would appear it is not appreciated that to be selected as a Coroner’s presenter shows ability, and that this appointment is not a dead-end job, but shortens the route to promotion.

Of course, this depends on if the force has a properly organized and staffed personnel department, where there is an established route through training and experience that a police officer advances throughout his or her career. This avoids politicians interfering and promoting those who give the politician inside information, either on people or cases, and are rewarded by promotion, often leading to incompetent persons rising above the level of their ability.

The Coroner’s Court is the oldest office in the British criminal system, dating back to common law, as the Coroner reported direct to the king or queen on the sudden or unnatural death of any of His or Her Majesty’s subjects. It is still the cornerstone of investigation as to how the person came to their death.

Foreign Police On Bajan Soil For Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup 2007 with the final being held in Barbados from 14th – 28th April has also caused me some concern. Some months ago it was reported that some 1000 police were coming from South Africa to assist with crowd control. Crowd control rubbish, this is a riot squad brought in to back up our local police and military. The figure of 500 was announced this week, and I trust that within 24 hours of this being published, the entire detachment will not be brought into Barbados .

These migratory policemen would not know their way around Barbados by road, or have any contact, and would therefore be useless as an investigative branch, other than a strong-arm branch to manhandle people with batons. Should they come I would recommend that they be given lectures in how to avoid AIDS, and from the Family Planning Department.

Their DNA should be established in the case of paternity suits, and I would expect that Nelson Street and behind the Grandstand at The Garrison would be the most policed areas in Barbados .

I have had training and experience with a very respected police force, and I give my advice to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Hartley Dottin, that politics must be avoided if he wishes to have an independent police force, and that there needs to be training, both for his officers and NCOs, and all ranks in the Royal Barbados Police Force.

Richard Goddard
St. Peter, Barbados

April 9, 2007

28 responses to “Police Jurisdiction And Authority In Barbados

  1. Pingback: Former Police Officer Gives Police Commissioner Dottin Some Advice « Barbados Free Press

  2. Why?

    How come a white man has to say these things?
    Why do we black people always allow our standards to become lower and lower,
    until finally some white man has to pull our sox up, for us?
    Why?

  3. ?

    Once we are doing something which we hope will make our country better does it matter who makes the first move or what colour they are?

  4. sommer

    It doesn’t matter if Mr. Goddard isa white man, black man or indian, no security guard in any gated community should be allowed to prevent a policeman from carrying out his duty. The policeman should have been well aware of this. The fact that officers of the force were not aware of how to handle the situation is a clear indication that they need to be retrained.

  5. Sapidillo

    The comments, which some would say is criticism, from Goddard is indeed warranted. I hope that Dottin would take heed on the input from his fellow man. Dottin and his cronies need to realize “no man is an island.” For quite sometime now, tables have turned; many/most members of the Police Force felt that they could do NO WRONG!! They could do what, when and how they like and cover up for each other .

    For Goddard to speak of a previous incident, it just goes to show that eyes have been on those sparrows, the Police Force, for a long time; just waiting for the appropriate time to expose what they might have thought all along to be hidden and/or buried.

    Goddard should receive a loud applause for being so direct about his former/fellow colleagues. I truly hope that his speaking out will bring the PF to reality, and that Dottin will publicly thank him.

  6. Occifer

    I take exception, that in BUHBAYDUS, in dis day an’ age, A CAUCASIAN MALE…umm umm can say, aaaamm…

  7. Peltdown Man

    Remember that the helicopter security contract went to an Antiguan company, when we have our own helicopter company right here? Remember the Commissioner of Police stating that it was a fully equipped miltary machine that our company could not provide, or words to that effect? Well guess what. The story goes that the Antiguan helicopter arrived in Barbados and was sent out the same day by the Israeli company hired to direct security. It was just another tourist helicopter, and the big difference was that the pilot know nothing about Barbados. So who got the contract? Our very own helicopter company, of course! Nice one, Commissioner!

  8. ChopperGuy

    Does any CARICOM state have a fully-equipped military egg beater? I don’t think so.
    Maaaaybe a somewhat-equipped Police type chopper.(T’dad?)

    Closest available mil.chopper would be Puerto Rico Air Nat’l. Guard – or maybe Venezuela.
    Axe Chavez if we could borrow his, nuh..?

  9. Warrior

    Why?

    This is not a racist comment and not even an attempt to criticise one race over the other, but rather to state the facts.

    I don’t think a black man could say these things opening, if he is not in the “Elite Club”, if he had the goon squad would be at his house, and his family, friends and business would be under constant and sever harassment from all quarters.

    I could not comment on the fact that the police were not allowed into MH earlier because I think I have now came to grips that it that this foolishness really happened.

  10. Getting bye

    Well said.
    Separate police work from politics
    Re-train police, pay closer atttention to orders given below

    I don’t care what colour he is- keep talking.

  11. Willie Lynch

    Warrior

    You are 100% right….and that’s only because my methods are still working

  12. Anonymous

    Warrior is really a coward who would never have said what Goddard has said. He basically said so himself in his above comment. And he does not even have the common sense to realise that the Police could have easily entered the MH premises IF they knew what powers were vested in them as officers of the law, or IF they really wanted to enter in the first place. OR ‘Warrior’ is playing along with this whole charade designed to distract from The Bigger Picture. Something smells about this whole thing, and I dont think it has anything to do with any half-chupid gate man ‘stopping’ THE Police from doing anything. And ‘Willie Lynch’, go back to hawking your pathetic DVDs, FREAK.

  13. Warrior

    Anonymous,

    I never answer my critics unless they are right, my response to you then is simple – silence.

  14. Rumplestilskin

    Chopper guy:

    T&T has just contracted for three marine vessels to a tune of Stg$500million, to be delivered by 2009.

    These vessels are multifunctional, will include helicopter facility and also functionality to carry vehicles & some personnel (troops).

    To be used to prtoect their ‘Economic Zone’, drug interdiction and ‘other uses’.

    So if we annoy them we may have a landing party at Oistins (or if Manning decide he wants to ‘tek Barbados’).

    We best fix up some cannons by Oistins, yuh. Where dah HARP Gun gone?

    Actually, am I mistaken or did Owen not say that he was buying a plane, can’t remember for the military or for him.

    Think it was for the military…but isn’t he the Commander of the armed forces or is that the GG?

    Mo money.

    Maybe the plane idea is a good thing. With Mannings ‘vessels’ we better load it with ‘required artillery’ and keep it on standby.

  15. Martsie

    Quite excellent articles from the crew above and especially Rich Goddard. He could have done well to offer with the training himself instead of only giving advice… good article nonetheless.
    Clearly policticking has shown its true colours under the commissioner’s watch… not so my friends. There is also the fancy mop-up by the COP after every event-true-ality. It was an “ABERRATION”, FROLICKING ON “THEIR OWN TIME…”, “…FORTUITOUSLY…” and with regard to the helicopter isue it was “…MISCOMMUNICATION…” I say no more on that. Police search = aberration, Millenium Heights = fortuitously, Police scuffling with 2 young men after cricket at Oval = frolicking. I do not think retraining is needed for officers as much as the removal of political interference. Too much Rab Scrab is hired by Police Force/Government to carry out professional police duties and Goddards comments are valid. Victimisation is also a principal in the way police appear to be handling some matters and so they lack the PRINCIPLE in carrying out their duties. The police will waste time investigating Barbados Free Press rather than deal with the concerns of the citizenry.

  16. Martsie

    Quite excellent articles from the crew above and especially Rich Goddard. He could have done well to offer help with the training himself instead of only giving advice… good article nonetheless.
    Clearly policticking has shown its true colours under the commissioner’s watch… not so my friends? There is also the fancy mop-up by the COP after every event-true-ality. It was an “ABERRATION”, “FROLICKING ON THEIR OWN TIME…”, “…FORTUITOUSLY…” and with regard to the helicopter isue it was “…MISCOMMUNICATION…” I say no more on that. Police search = aberration, Millenium Heights = fortuitously, Police scuffling with 2 young men after cricket at Oval = frolicking. I do not think retraining is needed for officers as much as the removal of political interference. Too much Rab Scrab is hired by Police Force/Government to carry out professional police duties and Goddard’s comments are valid. Victimisation is also a principal in the way police appear to be handling some matters and so they lack the PRINCIPLE in carrying out their duties. The police will waste time investigating Barbados Free Press rather than deal with the concerns of the citizenry.

  17. De Orginal

    Let me add here at this point . I agree with Richard Goddard that politics should be left out of policing, I also agree that police officers must be aware of their role and powers of arrest, rights and responsibilities in carrying out their duties. But it is clear that Mr. Goddard did not do his research on this matter and did not care too. Firstly the Commisioner of Police of Barbados is Darwin Dottin and the police does not have responsibility for the coroner’s court.

  18. Anonymous

    To the Commissioner of Police,
    Why don’t you arrest Mia Mottley when you know she does be under the tree in Bush Hall Yard Gap smoking herb? I can tell you when she is most likely to be there? She want locking up ….

  19. Martsie

    Many of Richard Goddard’s comments are interesting but this is funny… Brian Lara was blamed for West Indies cricket along with the administrators but not one of you including Richard Goddard has blamed the Brian Lara of the Force! There is no need to retrain a whole Force because if you think so then one may say, retrain the whole lot of politicians, doctors and lawyers and so on; since these people do very surprising things

  20. anonymous, i dont smoke weed neither do i promote it, but i consider myself as de most realist person who attack topics people dont ever wonder about.

    like de weed issue for example, there are no recorded road deaths that were caused by a person under de influence of ganga, no where in de world, but do you know that most road fatalities world wide is caused by drunken driving, yet alcohol legal and de ganga illegal, i personally feel both should be illegal if ya gon incriminate any, its a matter of principle but hey, nabody int gon listen to dis lil man, den again if weed become legal, all de big boys in govt and big businesses gonna lose caw dem is who runnin de big trades, and every corner shop and supermarket gonna be selling ganga. anyways i out bad and wufliss

  21. oh yea, i fuhget wa uh come ta suh, mr dottin was right, police have no boundaries in buhbadus once um is in de open, if um is a building or seing police gotta comply as long as no offence is being committed, it is de police ta blame caw sum uh dem is act like nuff scrunts like dem frighten fuh people or seing, u feel da cudda happen like 25 years back, man from de time da guard see de po pos coming he wudda catspraddle from day long time, i was a police i wud know

  22. Anonymous

    No wonder this Kadri creature writes such ignorance. Just check out his face on his website.

  23. anonymous if u call it ignorancewhich mean u are nothing but a fool who rather follow laws than principles.

    daz why de world de way it is today bcos man changed and altered laws to suit demselves rather than whats based on whats right from wrong.

    before u write you should study with an open mind rather than being narrow minded, i int shame to show my face, u mussie shame to reveal who u is using de name anonymous, as de saying goes, think before ya speak or type

    sound soooo blasted illiterate, stupse

    if you see mia under de tree smokin, tek a pic of she or a lil video, most cells now got cams, and post it on youtube, gimmie some proof, you sound like a person who just like attention and would talk wa ever u feel would catch a fool ear, reminds me of david thompson alot, like when he suh an age limit should be on cellphone usage in bim, i never hear suh much fuqry in muh life, i gone fuh now

  24. Pingback: Coroner’s Inquests Can Take 25 Years In Barbados - Legalities Not A Priority With Successive Governments « Barbados Free Press

  25. Shampoo

    I have to agree with Kadri that police in Bim are afraid of CERTAIN people especially politicians, and this pertains to bajans on the whole. They will c wrong doings and instead of reporting it they will chat about it for the rest of their lives! For fear of the outcome!

  26. makiala iyoka ashanti nyabinghi

    I agree with certian points Rich Goddards made concerning the police profile. However, what I analyse is happening here is a reminder that pale people ( I never see a white man in my life) or caucasians, are aware of what is going on with African people when a lot of us are not, why? I dont think the police feared the security gaurd but the pale people in the back who gave him the orders, especially the special way we are conditioned from slavery to treat people void of colour and treat our own like shit. I agree with Mr Rich that the police accepted a dis and a big one that stripped they authority. But have no one relise how Mr Rich mocked African people in Barbados concerning his comments about AIDS ?
    South Africa has onr of the world’s highest record of Aids, yet Police coming from there, he warns them of catching AIDS in Barbados, I cant remember ever hearing of caucasian females in Nelson St or picking fares by the Garrision, I am not talking about an odd one but mainstream, this is where I find the mockery, how come in both little Barbados and big South Africa only the Afrcans are the ones mainstream with AIDS and not the caucasians ? the people who like to jump out with ‘it dont matter what colour’ talk should study it and answer this one.

  27. makiala iyoka ashanti nyabinghi

    I could list them, but I will only remind you of the famous television actor who got special treatment of a court reporters praise while set free of rape, I tell you African people at this time of history seem to represent the scum of the earth, while the caucasians are treated like the cream of the crop.

  28. Veggieman

    Is dem de same hungry policemen that ruff up de press people. Don’t tell me we got to look for a uiniform to know who is a house slave in the Babadus.

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