Barbados Police Regularly Bust Tourists For Cocaine… But What About The Dealers?


Brit TV Star Jeremy Edwards Arrested For Cocaine In Barbados

“Tourists are easy, but it takes real work to take down a dealer.”

… BFP’s Royal Barbados Police Force nameless friend.

So Many Reasons Why Police Ignore Serious Drug Dealers…

We were talking with our RBPF friend a few weeks ago about the growing violence on the island and like many folks, we expressed the opinion that much of it is associated with drugs and drug dealers. While our friend agreed with us he cautioned that we must not focus solely on drugs as a root cause of violence while forgetting the wider societal changes that are also impacting the general level of violence.

Drugs and drug dealers make for violence, said our friend, but they can’t be blamed for all the violence, nor for some of the conditions that cause our police force to be less effective than it could be.

Our friend’s opinion and the depth of his subsequent thoughts again made us realise that the vast majority of our police officers are decent, hard working people who have great insight into some of the ragged edges of our society. But they are also human – and if they can get away with doing less and reducing their personal workload and level of exposure to dangerous situations, many police officers will choose the easier route.

As our friend puts it, “If we called, we go. If we not called, why look for trouble?”

Lack Of Proper Leadership, Supervision And Accountability

Supervision is not the same as Leadership. Supervision is not the same as accountability.

We asked our friend straight out, “Why aren’t more big drug dealers arrested?” and his answer was surprising. I guess we expected some story about corruption, lack of resources or some such thing, but our friend simply said “Because it is easier and less dangerous to arrest tourists and little fish.”

He explained that tourists are easy to arrest because they are less wary of police and are usually relaxed and less aware of what is going on around them. They aren’t able to recognise out-of-uniform police officers, and are unlikely to be armed or to resist arrest. “They don’t know where to run” says our friend.

But tourists seldom know the person who they bought the drugs from so arresting a tourist is a “dead end”. There is little or no opportunity for the police to go “up the chain” as our friend called it.

What Is The Answer To A More Effective & Enthusiastic Police Force?

A lack of real leadership and accountability are big pieces of the problem, but so is a lack of societal status for police officers of which low salaries are a big indicator.

The attitude is, “They pretend to pay us, an we pretend to work.”

Strong words from a police officer who loves his job and on better days shows energy defending his organisation and his comrades.

TV Star Jeremy Edwards Says “Guilty” To Cocaine Possession

Should He Have Been Allowed To Remain On Barbados To Finish His Vacation…?

From The Sun Newspaper…

Holby’s Jeremy Busted For Coke

TV hunk Jeremy Edwards has been arrested after being caught with cocaine in an area notorious for dealers and hookers.

The former Holby City actor – once engaged to squeaky-clean singer Rachel Stevens, 29 – was held on holiday in Barbados on Saturday.

He spent the weekend in a dingy prison cell and was hauled before a judge in capital Bridgetown on Monday.

Jeremy, 36, was fined £250 and immediately released. He was warned he will go to jail if he is caught with drugs again.

The actor plans to go ahead with a celebration bash in the UK this weekend to mark his engagement to Lydia Metz, 23.

Pals have been invited to a lavish get-together in London’s West End.

Jeremy, who presents Cooking the Books on Five, was on holiday with his older brother Tim when he was arrested. He was spotted yesterday relaxing at his hotel swimming pool.

A police spokesman said : “Edwards was arrested after acting suspiciously on the street and was found with an amount of cocaine, but officers believed it was for personal use.

“He has been allowed to continue his holiday.”

… from The Sun article Holby’s Jeremy Busted For Coke

Should Drug Using Tourists Be Kicked Off The Island After Jail?

What message does it send to the world and our own people when convicted drug users are allowed to remain on Barbados and to return to the island for other vacations?

Our RBPF friend says that a double standard applies to tourists with the courts imposing more lenient sentences than upon citizens. As he put it, “Try getting back into America or the UK after being convicted for cocaine in those countries.”

Maybe our friend has a point. What do you think folks?


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Celebrities, Crime & Law, Traveling and Tourism

16 responses to “Barbados Police Regularly Bust Tourists For Cocaine… But What About The Dealers?

  1. jinx

    What should one do when little children in the community are raising chickens for the illegal “sport” of cockfighting?

    Call the police???

    Tried that once and with the actual cock fighting going on less than 5 minutes away, in full view of a bus load of tourists (who, by the way were not amused).
    The police still could not
    arrive to the scene in time, if they ever arrived at all.

  2. Sundowner

    I was amazed when I heard about this case about Jeremy Edwards, this is a terrible double standard, it should be one rule for all, whatever your ‘position’ in life, or your nationality. But I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen………..

  3. Tony Hall

    Jeremy Edwards should have been deported having been convicted. As you can see in a small society money talks bullshit walks. It is sending a very bad signal. This sort of behaviour by the judicial system also lowers the moral of the force. If that were a local or anyone from Caricom they would either have been jailed or fined and deported. This will make officers turn a blind eye when they see locals using cocaine for personal use. To make it worse the Police are not even being properly paid. I have confidence that this administration will look after the Police because they are “special”. The prevoius PM didn’t think so.

  4. Tony Hall

    Jeremy Edwards should have been deported having been convicted. The judicial system has sent a bad signal to society. If you have money and you are a celebrity you can get away with anything especially in Barbados. The guise that one does not want to hurt tourism by causing bad publicity is foolishness. If that were a local or Caricom citizen that person would have been jailed or fined and eventually deported. The powers that be in Barbados appear to still suffer from an inferiority complex when it comes to the Mother Country. How does the the resolution of this case makes the arresting officers feel? It is possible that they or any other officers seeing a local using cocaine for “personal use” may just turn a blind eye. Police in 2008 are not properly paid. They workload and stress levels are higher than the average citizen. I trust that this administration will look after them. The former Prime Minister Owen Arthur openly said that the Police were not “special”. I believe that this administration will treat them “very special”.

  5. Green Monkey

    Prime Minister Owen Arthur openly said that the Police were not “special”.

    And the electorate said loudly, “Well neither are you, Owen.”

  6. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Police ignoring drug dealers?

  7. reality check

    setting up unsuspecting tourists who are offered drugs at just about any entertainment spot on the island is a long time Barbados tourist industry.

    The tourists often get escorted to the airport after the lawyer has earned his or her fees and after paying the fine but not always.

    This article is completely honest and accurate. Maybe some tourists if they are reading can give us some details of their experience.

  8. yatinkinkiteasy

    I have seen more than once, reports in the local press of a tourist being arrested for drugs, because “he was observed coming from the house of a known drug dealer”…If they are known, and it is known where they live, and I assume it is known the number of their BMW, why aren`t they arrested…a search warrant of their place should not be a problem if they are “known”….baffles the mind.

  9. Anonymous

    me…me…me I know!
    The dealers may have family or friends in the police force! Oh I know what you are saying, NOT THE RBPF! Maybe you are is afterall beneath them to hide, I mean lose files, perform indequaltey at investigations, and look for a handout to tell a lie. Thank God we live in BIM.

  10. Anonymous

    One of the biggest drug dealers in this country has about 20 RBPF officers on his payroll.
    One phone call to inform him of a pending raid and all the evidence is stashed somewhere else.
    Some officers can make up to $25,000 a month as an informer (yes they are on both sides of the fence).
    Compare that with their measly salary and tell me if it aint tempting.
    So yes…lets stop pretending it aint so in the RBPF!!
    I had a family member who was in trouble with the law a couple years ago.I was approached by a well known policeman who said he could get the charges dropped if I would ‘let off about 10 grand”.
    He knew I had recently come into some money and loved my family member dearly.After I said to f**k off and go f**k ya mudda….you should see how miserable the RBPF could make you.
    I was pulled over almost every night and searched,reported for speeding when I was doing 70 kph on the ABC ect.
    So please dont let us be so surprised when these stories come out because it happens every day in this country.


    This whole ‘ war on drugs’ farce is make me laugh . I know it sounds bad but what can i say , the whole thing is one big hypocritical two faced mess.

    I feel ya got a thriving trade even in Singapore (where you can be sentenced to death for it).Ya just need to know the right people .

    Protect the children and let the other freaks do their thing na.

  12. Anonymous

    Legalise Marijuana….sell it in the supermarket …and put VAT on it!

    All this nonsense will stop.There will be no more drug more king pins.The goverment will make more money taxing it than fighting it.


    hear, hear

  14. I’m a white Scottish guy that is now living in Barbados and I have just spent 11 nights at a hotel on the Gap. I was totally amazed about the amount of times I was asked if I wanted to buy Charlie. Every single day of my stay at the Gap I was asked if I wanted to buy drugs. I have travelled to many major destinations in the world such as Edinburgh, London, Miami, Paris, Barcelona Madrid, Cairo, to name a few and I have never seen cocaine so openly sold on the streets as I have in Barbados. It is almost like the authorities have turned a blind eye to it, maybe you guys think it is good for tourism and you don’t care how you get the tourist dollar!

  15. stephanie

    I do not take or condone drug taking and as a tourist I am always worried when abroad that my drink may get spiked or my bag used as plant. This is not a worry that I want when I holiday on my fave island of Barbados.