Police urge Bajans to not walk alone in secluded areas, be wary of strangers approaching your home

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Was Chief Justice Simmons right? Is it time to bring in the Military?

The end of a murderous weekend has the Royal Barbados Police Force advising members of the public to avoid walking alone in secluded areas and to exercise care when anyone approaches their property.

A list of murders and violence over the last few days has folks wondering if they somehow moved to Jamaica or Trinidad without realising it.

Interestingly enough, when the Nation News first published their story of the violence it was called Days of Mayhem. A few hours later the title was changed to “Three die on tragic weekend.” I guess the politically correct people got to the editors!

Woman shot in head. Store keeper murdered. Man shot in legs by robbers. Elderly woman slashed in home. Body found in field. And on and on and on…

A St. George couple are lucky to be alive after three armed masked men smashed their way into a home on Friday morning and demanded money, strangely enough claiming that they were police officers. When the couple ran the woman was shot in the head. She is lucky to be alive as the bullet grazed her skull: another half inch lower and it would have been murder. That night the mother of our director of the Department of Emergency Management, Judy Thomas, was attacked in her home by a man with a cutlass. Police arrested a man for burglary. The 85 year old victim is recovering from serious cuts in hospital.

The fun continued on Saturday night with a man shot in both legs by robbers while he was out walking in St. Michael. Then on Sunday Mr. Anderson Phillips, the proprietor of Pam’s Variety store, was shot to death by two men as he closed the Christ Church business. The next morning the body of 74 year old Aron Joseph was found in a St. Philip field. Police are calling his death “unnatural” but haven’t released further details.

Chronic Understaffing of our Police Force – A deliberate choice by government

Police Commissioner Dottin: No money for training or equipment. Officers paid less than garbage workers.

Police Commissioner Dottin: No money for training or equipment. Officers paid less than garbage workers.

The Royal Barbados Police Force is, last we heard, still about 100 officers shy of authorised strength. The force is finding it difficult to recruit sufficient personnel despite having lowered the educational standards to attract persons who were once deemed not educated enough to be officers.

The problem is, of course, money. The people who drive the Sanitation Service Authority’s garbage trucks make a higher wage than many officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force.

This travesty was initially brought about under the previous Arthur/Mottley BLP Government, but after two years of the Thompson DLP Government, police salaries remain absurdly low. As we keep pointing out, after almost two years in government David Thompson now owns the problem and he’s done nothing to correct it.

A while ago Chief Justice David Simmons suggested that our police and military should be amalgamated into one entity. The police and the military have long operated joint patrols in “difficult” areas, and these were stepped up after the murder in broad daylight of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld.

Frankly, it almost seems as if this crisis in citizen safety has been engineered by successive governments. Considering that public safety is the foundation of our tourism industry we are at a loss to explain how our BLP and DLP governments allowed things to get this bad.

Now Barbadians are forced to choose between bringing in more military personnel or continuing the slaughter brought about in part by inadequate staffing of our police force.

Chief Justice Simmons - Wants military to police Barbados

Chief Justice Simmons - Wants military to police Barbados

Frankly we weren’t surprised to hear our Chief Justice suggesting a para-military police force and ending the independence of the police and military as Mr. Simmons actions have long shown that he favours eliminating independent branches of government. His own appointment effectively placed the Barbados Labour Party in charge of the nation’s courts.

As we wrote in a previous article about the Barbados Military being used to “police” the country…

Good men and women instinctively realize that the consolidation of government powers in the hands of any small group is dangerous. That is why democratic societies take care to split powers and responsibilities among of the various arms of government, and to ensure that societal institutions function with independence and always under the scrutiny of other balancing entities.

No one person, group or institution should have the power to operate without being accountable to society at large, and this accountability is often structured into the system on multiple levels.

The David Thompson DLP government refuses to pay a living wage to officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force. Joint patrols with the military are being stepped up to fill in the gaps, but the military are not police officers.

As the violence grows, the Thompson government will have to make up its mind: more military, or more police?

Which will it be, Mr. Prime Minister?

A professional police force, well paid, adequately staffed and trained… or young soldiers with automatic weapons on our streets? Or the status quo of doing nothing and letting everything go to hell in a handbasket?

Your choice Mr. Prime Minister.

Further Reading

Nation News: Days of Mayhem

Keltruth Blog: Police, Army and Chief Justice in Barbados

BFP: Barbados Chief Justice David Simmons – An Evil Threat To Our Democracy. (Yes, We Said Evil)

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17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police, Politics

17 responses to “Police urge Bajans to not walk alone in secluded areas, be wary of strangers approaching your home

  1. paul sealy

    Yes Mr.Thompson and Mr. Dottin, i am very scared of these gangsters with their AK-47’S,TECH 9’S,45’S,9Millis,roaming the streets looking for prey,now if only these idiots knew who to rob and to shoot Barbados would be a much better place…*sigh*

  2. Hants

    So we are heading back to the “good” ole days.

    Outside night lights,2 german shepherds and a 38.

  3. Me.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why we have a standing BDF. The money would be better spent on a police force and a vigorous reservist system, as far as I can tell.

  4. Des

    As far as i can see the RBPF and the BDF in Barbados can work togather in joint patrols in Barbados .Right now the public has very little respect for the police .Raising pay or better equipment will help the police in the fight but the public is still there judging . They (police) need the public’s assistance from time to time .The police forces problem i believe is more a moral one than anything else . Better buildings may boost moral but only for some .I believe they are too many rogue police in the force .Until money is spent on re educating and weeding out the bad cops from time to time all will be lost. Every organisation will have “bad eggs ” or persons who have their own agenda but …… Our police need to be more professional and stop using the force as a means to do as they please . This is not just a job or something to keep one off a street .They must love policing and country as well .As far as i am concerned sanitation persons ,nurses and police will never be paid enough for the tiring and serious occupations they have.

    In the case of women the male officers need to take the entire motto seriously and not part of it . To serve and protect and reassure i believe it is.Some of them take the “serve” part only. When you have this behaviour how can the persons in the communities in a small island such as Barbados take them seriously or trust them .

  5. kiki

    They never run, they never run
    They never run when police men come
    But them haffi run, them haffi run
    Them haffi run when soldier man a come

    http://555dubstreet.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/beardman-feast/

  6. Lp

    “Frankly, I don’t understand why we have a standing BDF. The money would be better spent on a police force and a vigorous reservist system, as far as I can tell.”

    Best comment so far.

  7. Crusoe

    Who in their right mind will become an officer, when more money is to be made as an electrician, driving a truck or bobcat or something else.

    Then, rather than a chance of some idiot shooting at you, as a member of the general populace, you are ‘in the line of fire’ on a daily basis.

    Then, all you do is get cussed in the bus stand, by the same unruly general populace, for doing your job.

    If you shoot a criminal in the dead of night, it results in an investigation, maybe even suspension and crucifixion in the papers.

    So, tell me.

    Exactly WHO, in their right mind will become an officer???

  8. Crusoe

    Oh and by the way, the ‘general populace’ holds more respect for some gun-toting, violent lyric, dub artist moron, than for an officer of the law.

    And then we wonder why ‘cuh dear, de childrun behaving so wufless’.

    Blame it on the society!

  9. J

    It appears that Aron Joseph’s death may have been suicide.

  10. STINGING NETTLE

    when you look at the ‘body language’ of the new police men/women as they ‘patrol’ – – you cannot fail to notice these individuals look as if they just got out of jail… you talk to them and you realize many are low life types. sorry to have to say this but it’s a fact. I live almost next door to a police station and I know what I say.

    how can you have better quality personnel if you dont pay them commensurately?

  11. victor

    Stinging, I agree so much. Pay them more it is worth it. We need brainy and tough cops to cope with the increasing vioIence to protect the pubIic and reassure tourists that they are safe. Tourism is the biggest earner so why not invest in reaIIy good cops. Providing good jobs for Bajans and protecting citizens and tourists, thereby adding to the generaI sense of weIIbeing, feeIing safer, stopping corruption and increasing the confidence of visitors. Its a no brainer. PeopIe need to feeI safe and have a right to do so, they pay taxes for that, they vote for that, in this day and age with things changing aII the time the poIice force needs beefing up. Its basic.

  12. paul sealy

    Here is a solution to the problem,bring in the world police.
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/194691-UN-Interpol-create-international-police-force
    Since these unpaid corrupt officers don’t want to do the job properly.

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  14. KISSMYA

    i hold no brief for the police. i do not like how some of them treat people. BUT the police have not been properly treated in this country either. The police have done a good job over the years under trying circumstances AND THEY SHOULD BE BETTER PAID.

    i say so !

  15. ac

    blame here blame there .The bajan citizens need to get tough and go ouside the house of parliament protesting toshow the politicians an unwillingness to put with the crazy voilence that has taken hold of the country.hold their feet to the fire make them responsible.after all you are voters and employers of them .Bajans don”t wait till it is too late.Make dem politicians resposible for making the streets safe afterall they work for you.

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