The above photo was published (without the red marks covering faces) in Barbados’ The Nation Newspaper on March 8, 2006, and shows members of the Royal Barbados Police Force SSU (Special Services Unit) undergoing training in the U.K. for anti-terror duties at Cricket World Cup 2007.
Only one problem… For the most obvious of reasons, professional Anti-Terror Units worldwide take great pains to conceal the identities and photographs of serving members. It is a pretty basic concept – If the bad guys know the faces and names of the good guys, it gives them an advantage.
History is full of criminal, military and terror attacks where the bad guys have taken out the security detail prior to their primary targets because they knew the identities and other intelligence about the security personnel.
So who was the idiot responsible for releasing this photo to the media? According to the anonymous friend who alerted Barbados Free Press to this story, the photo was supposed to remain “in house”, but some “higher up” in the RBPF left his brain at home that day and released the photo to show what a great job the police were doing to prepare for World Cup.
Our friend also says that Police Superintendent Forte was “absolutely furious” over the incident.
Barbados Free Press Comments
Superintendent Forte might be “absolutely furious” over the breach, but the photo is still online, so perhaps the good Superintendent should pick up the phone and have a little chat with Mr. Hoyte at The Nation. Mr. Hoyte, being the decent chap that he is, would surely understand and quietly take down the photo.
The big lesson to be learned from all this is that it cannot be “business as usual” anymore with certain old-guard police leadership thinking more of publicity and “looking good” than of operational integrity. The threats from Muslim terrorists at the Cricket World Cup are very real, and it is obvious that some management-types in the RBPF have not yet made the necessary attitude adjustment.
The RBPF Special Services Unit is staffed with some of the brightest, best and yes – the toughest – professionals anywhere… but will Senior Management allow them to be the best they can be?
Barbados Free Press will continue to follow this part of the Cricket World Cup 2007 story.
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