Barbados Prime Minister: “No Need To Panic…”
Excerpts from the Bermuda Royal Gazette (link here)…
Police numbers on the Island could soon be boosted by 30 new officers from Barbados, according to overseas reports.
With Bermuda’s top cop George Jackson currently in the Caribbean country on a major recruitment drive, the Prime Minister and Police chief of Barbados have both spoken out amid speculation that their country’s force is set to lose scores of officers.
Barbados Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin called on PM Owen Arthur to urgently tackle the issue of salaries and working conditions for his officers.
His comments came after media reports indicated that about 30 officers were planning to leave the force for Bermuda.
…Reports suggested that some members of the Special Services Unit – which recently received specialised anti-terror training ahead of next year’s Cricket World Cup – were among the group planning to quit. Mr. Dottin indicated to The Nation that this issue was discussed when he met his Bermuda counterpart….
However, PM Owen Arthur, responding to his Police chief’s comments, told The Nation that the number of officers leaving the Royal Barbados Police Force was so small there was no need to panic.
Officers departing to work in Bermuda are nothing new, he was reported as saying, and added: “Barbados has always been a place where people have looked to for nurses, Police and so on.”
As part of the current recruitment drive, Bermuda Police Service is looking to hire 40 extra officers from Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and the UK. …Governor Sir John Vereker has pledged to get the service up to its full strength of 469 officers by the end of October.
A Bermuda Police spokesman said he had no comment yesterday when asked about the reported influx of 30 officers from Barbados. He confirmed Mr. Jackson was still in Barbados on Police business.