An Open Letter To The Royal Barbados Police Force – About Duty and Honour

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We Have Been Sitting On A Story For Six Months

For six months, Barbados Free Press has not published a story about how Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) personnel were trained in the interception of private phone calls, mobile communications and email by IST Inc. – a Florida company that is alleged to have made improper payments to law enforcement officials in the United States. During our investigations, we were able to confirm much of what our source told us with just a few simple phone calls to Florida – calls that anyone could have made at the time.

As well as the training of RBPF electronic communications technicians by IST Inc., our unpublished story also related that the Royal Barbados Police Force had received modern interception equipment and had more on order. Our source told us that the equipment wishlist included a sophisticated “digital spectrum analyser” used to locate and identify radio and cell phone transmissions. We were also aware that meetings had been held with communication industry representatives to establish liaison channels for the legal interception of private communications by police at various relay centres. This, it was explained to us, is all rather standard procedure between police and communications companies everywhere – and especially during major events like Cricket World Cup.

We did not publish the story at the time because we did not want to interfere with the RBPF’s ramp up of security and electronic surveillance capabilities in preparation for Cricket World Cup 2007.

Although little if anything has been written in the Caribbean media about electronic surveillance of potential Islamist terrorists by law enforcement, even without our story it doesn’t take too much guesswork to speculate upon some of the capabilities being used by the men and women who protect us all. The terrorists and other nasties like drug dealers are of course already well aware of police capabilities and routinely try to avoid electronic surveillance.

So by writing this story, we aren’t by any means letting the cat out of the bag or telling our country’s enemies anything they don’t already know… and there is far more detailed information available on the internet than appears on this blog. We wouldn’t even bother writing this story – except for one thing…

We have been told that on at least two occasions, persons have discussed using Royal Barbados Police Force personnel, resources and technical interception capabilities to identify the publishers of the Barbados Free Press blog. These persons want to use the police for a political purpose.

BFP believes there is a high probability that this information is accurate as the previous information provided to us was shown to be true. Certain police personnel may, or may not, have been approached already. We are not in a position to know.

And so, we write this open letter to each member of the Royal Barbados Police Force…

To Each Member Of The Royal Barbados Police Force:

As we are sleep in our beds in the middle of the night, you and your companions are on patrol protecting our homes and our families. You deal with the worst our society can offer: the violent, the hopeless, the innocent victims who cannot be helped. We can walk away from unpleasant situations when you have to stay and deal with the worst.

And when there is real trouble, real danger – when all of us run away in fear, you stand fast. You cannot run and you do not – no matter that you must at times be as frightened as any sane person would be. Duty compels you to master your fear and you do.

All this must take it’s toll on you personally and upon your family, yet you and your companions continue to protect and to serve Barbados for far less money than is paid to police personnel elsewhere in the Caribbean and abroad. You do this out of a sense of duty and commitment. This must be so because you could easily find higher paying employment with another police force or in a different career.

For all of that, we thank you – and if it were in our power to pay you as you should be paid, we would do it tomorrow. There are many other national expenses that should be secondary to a well-equipped and fairly-paid police force. As we have said many times before…

The Royal Barbados Police Force should be the highest paid, best trained and best equipped policing organization in the Caribbean. The police are the true guardians and promoters of the most important segment of our economy. If the tourists don’t feel safe in Barbados, you can kiss goodbye to about 80% of our gross national revenue… (original BFP article link here)

But the police are also guardians of something much more important than our economy.

You and your companions are guardians of our democracy and of our freedoms – which you protect every day that you remain impartial and go about your duties without fear or favour. There are always those in any society who – for their own purposes – attempt to use and misuse the authority and power of individual police officers or policing organizations.

The citizens of Barbados rely upon each police officer to be true to their duty, true to the rule of law and honourable in all things. Without this sense of duty and honour by you and your companions, our society would be quite different.

We have trusted you in the past and we continue to trust you to be true to Barbados, to the rule of law and to yourself.

When they ask you to be otherwise – you know what to do.

Yours truly,

Marcus, Robert, Shona, Cliverton, George & Auntie Moses – and all the rest of your fellow citizens who read Barbados Free Press.

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

19 responses to “An Open Letter To The Royal Barbados Police Force – About Duty and Honour

  1. Trini

    Trini Police get a starting salary equiv. to Bds$1,300 a month, approx.
    I believe that Barbados Police get Bds.$1,600 a month starting salary.

    Barbados Police are not the worst paid.
    THEY ALL ARE,
    i.e. all Caribbean territories’ Police Forces: it’s like if they’re an option of sorts, and not real high up the list, either!

    Modern’ Western societies (particularly in the Caribbean)
    pay the lousiest salaries to the most important social workers..
    Policemen, Nurses, Teachers, and Garbage Collectors.

    Try living your lives without them doing their jobs, and you’ll see what I mean about important social workers.

  2. K23B7

    B’dos police would never agree to be used for a political purpose, would they? LOL

  3. akabozik

    We think we know generally who is in a position of power to use the royal barbados police to find the editors of BFP.

    I want to know who are the names that talked about this? Who talked about this?

    Bastards attack all Bajans when they do that.

  4. Anonymous

    The misuse of power is as prevelant as ever in our society. No one would like to think that lawmen could be categorized as the type of individuals to misuse their power or to aid corruption. However, it certainly seems they have the tools and techniques now. How they will differentiate who they use these tools and techniques on will be quite interesting.

    Anyone heard of the PATRIOT ACT in the U.S.? It doesn’t differentiate between terrorist and citizen…anyone’s privacy can be violated because of “suspicion” of wrong doing. And the definition of suspicion…still waiting on that one.

    Furthermore, pre-emptive strikes/attacks/action has become the modus operandi of some governements.

    Will it be the modus operandi of ours?
    I would be really interested in hearing others views.

    I don’t know what our local laws are on these proceedures but I am sure that not setting regulation for the use of these tools and techniques will lead to the abuse of the rights of the individuals these tools were designed to protect.

    Many times I disagree with BFP’s views and many of the other bloggers postings but I dont think anyone could deny the opportunity presented by the BFP to the Barbadian public to introduce transpanancy in the runnings of Bim. (A transparency that is sadly unaddressed in many local laws)
    Many thanks to you BFP for your service to the Barbadian public. I hope your privacy is protected.

  5. Anonymous

    I tell yah it now start becareful free press yah information good and them things you talk bout exsist. The first question one should ask is can the police force be manipulated by politicians?? The answer is yes who appoints the Commissioner of Police ……. the politicians

  6. Anonymous

    I hope them know that there is no legislation to support the interception of communication legally without a warrrant.

  7. Pat

    I am surprised that the RBPF only now getting that equipment. Do you know how many times the US spy satelliltes pass over Bim? Were you not aware that they have been doing for years, what the police now has the ability to do? Has anyone checked out the US embassy in Bridgetown? You may be surprised at what you find. You may also be quite shocked at what the CIA knows about the politicians and even local citizenry.

  8. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: “Dear Police Force…”

  9. ILLUMINATOR

    Firstly i would like to say happy belated birthdaty to the BFP and i hope there will be many more and many more people checking them out and feeling a little more empowered . Its got to start somewhere .

    I think its about time we wake up and realise whats going on around us . Personal freedoms and privacy are being eroded and invaded to protect us from ‘terrorism ‘ left right and centre. To protect us from a faceless ‘enemy’ who the authorities can point and say ‘ look there he goes ‘at anytime and put ‘meausures’ in place to ‘protect’ us . I mean its the perfect scam to for control , it can turn up anytime and as george bush says the War on Terror could go on for a century . We must realise that the US has the power ( especially economically ) to force nations to adopt certain laws in order to qualify for Aid and loans .Its probably just a matter of time before we hear about our own version of the PATRIOT ACT being whizzed through Parliament . We must be ready to resist it if that time comes .

    The staging of the World Cup already stipulates that CCTV cameras must be put in certain strategic positions in the island . When that event finishes , do you think they will be removed , i seriously doubt it . Its just to get us accustomed to being spied and eavedropped on .I mean if we have nothing to hide , it shouldn’t bother us , right . Wrong . And who guards the gatekeepers , now that is a very scary thought .

  10. Inkwell

    The greatest danger of a “terrorist” attack on Barbados in the post 9/11 world is that provided by the presence of the United States and to a lesser extent, the British embassies. This argument extends also to other regional countries and indeed all other countries of the world, and the most effective thing that governments of these countries can do to minimize the threat of “terrorism” is to ask the US and British governments kindly to remove their embassies and staff. There would be attendant inconveniences, mainly increased difficulty in obtaining US visas, but the benefits would far outweigh the drawbacks.

    The people that have axes to grind with the US are not interested in attacking Barbados or regional countries, but the vulnerable US targets therein. Get rid of the targets, we won’t be seen as supporters of the “enemy”, and the threat of terrorism will be virtually eliminated.

    Any takers?

  11. BFP

    Hi Inkwell

    Yes, I’ll take a piece of that.

    The Islamist terrorists view the US and Britain as mere waystops on the Caliphate railroad. Their self-proclaimed reason for doing what they do is so the entire world will turn to Islam – and not just any Islam, but their particular violent all-encompassing wahabi version of Islam.

    If a non-Muslim society or individual is willing to pay the infidel tax, “Jizyah” they might be excused for a generation or two. But only for a time as the Coptic Christians in Egypt will tell you.

    Infidels who pay the Jizyah become “Dhimmi” – non-muslims who submit to the authority of Islam and Islamic law.

    INkwell, you need to do a little research my friend – and speak with Christians who have fled Lebanon, Egypt, Indonesia – or perhaps speak with the Buddhist families who have fled the “restive” south of Thailand during the last 2 years when 3000 teachers and monks have been slaughtered merely for being Infidels.

    Stand or crawl.

    Your choice. Mine too.

  12. RRRicky

    I will take a piece of Inkwell too.

    Jizyah Tax

    http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/xstnc-5.html

  13. Inkwell

    Your argument does not negate my stance as it assumes that western countries have no defense against extremist Islamic doctrine. We (read, the US) have the wherewithal to protect our form of government militarily, e.g the Cuban face off with Soviet Russia in the 60’s.

    Democracy as a form of government does leave loopholes for the creeping infiltration from Islam that we are seeing, however and we must find a way to protect ourselves. The answer is not a confrontation and a determination to cow Islam into submission as the Bush administration is attempting. We are seeing the backlash in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It is interesting that you adopt the extreme right wing stance: a centipede has the capability to bite, so eliminate all centipedes.

    I am not advocating crawling as you suggest as the only alternative, but realistically, Caribbean countries are soft targets which have no way of defending against a sophisticated terrorist attack.

    That given, it would seem prudent to remove the provocations. Also given that Islam will not conquer the West militarily, the simple advice to all that those who do not want to be subject to its law….stay out of its jurisdiction.

  14. akabozik

    Inkwell, you don’t understand that Barbados cannot “remove the provocations” that make for a Muslim Terror attack.

    The provocation is that we are infidels. Non Muslims. The only way to “remove the provocations” is to become Muslim.

    You are still processing what the terrorists are saying through your own values and perspectives. These people strap nail bombs to their own sons and daughters, really believing that he / she who kills the most non-muslims will go to heaven with the highest position.

    The young man all juiced up on Islamist beliefs and natural teenage hormones really expects to be getting laid by 77 black eyed virgins moments after killing himself and taking as many infidels with him as possible.

    You can’t buy that off with more cocacola. This war will last a hundred years.

  15. Inkwell

    It is a fine art of debate to ignore logic that cannot be refuted and to counter with irrelevancies. Show me an instance where what you call a Muslim terrorist attack has been random or has not targeted those by whom the Muslims feel oppressed …with good reason.

    Ever since the West confiscated Muslim land to establish the state of Israel, expelled the Arab dwellers and for the last 60 years assisted the Israelis in their occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the subjugation and dehumanizing of its people, there has been no justice for the Palestinians.

    This situation and the relentless attempts by the West to spread democracy to Muslim nations through the gun barrel while hypocritically supporting other Islamic regimes when it suits their purpose (read oil) has been the genesis of what you call terrorism. It is against the perpetrators of these injustices and those that are seen to be supporting them that the proud Arabs are lashing out.

    I suppose in a similar situation you would turn the other cheek.

  16. Inkwell

    It is a fine art of debate to ignore logic that cannot be refuted and to counter with irrelevancies. Show me an instance where what you call a Muslim terrorist attack has been random or has not targeted those by whom the Muslims feel oppressed …with good reason.

    Ever since the West confiscated Muslim land to establish the state of Israel, expelled the Arab dwellers and for the last 60 years assisted the Israelis in their occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the subjugation and dehumanizing of its people, there has been no justice for the Palestinians.

    This situation and the relentless attempts by the West to spread democracy to Muslim nations through the gun barrel while hypocritically supporting other Islamic regimes when it suits their purpose (read oil) has been the genesis of what you call terrorism. It is against the perpetrators of these injustices and those that are seen to be supporting them that the proud Arabs are lashing out.

    I suppose in a similar situation you would turn the other cheek.

    Yes, the war will last another hundred years or as long as the West continues to think like you.

  17. akabozik

    Perhaps Inkwell can supply a reason why Muslim terrorists in Indonesia have slaughtered thousands of Christians? Why they murdered those 2 Christian 12 year old girls on their way to school last year?

    The Muslim terrorists said it was because the girls did not cover their heads as per islamic law.

    Perhaps they were lying and they really murdered the girls because of the Palestinians? What do you think, Inkwell? Were they lying when they said they murdered the girls because they failed to wear headscarves?

  18. Inkwell

    I’m done. It appears your mind can only accommodate the little picture.

  19. baje

    new world order thats where brabados is heading..i totatally agree with the illuminator….england still decides over her empire..the national language of america is also english that says alot .americna war of independance is a skam just like the barbabos independance. one wise man said if you want to know whats happening in the world follow the money…start by lookin at our own 20 dollar or even the us 1 dollar,then you will find who is gatekeeping the gatekeeper.