This excerpt is taken from our December 9, 2006 piece Crimes Against Tourists – Caribbean Governments Can’t Hush Up Victims Any Longer.
Here we are three years later (and after two years of DLP government), and as far as we’re concerned nothing has changed. Our government continues to dangerously underfund the Royal Barbados Police Force and underpay our police personnel. Read the excerpt, and then if you have time read the full article.
Then you’ll see that nothing has changed under the Democratic Labour Party government of David Thompson. Same old, same old ’bout hey.
Think “Tourist Safety – Security” and then compare Jamaica with Barbados. No contest. Barbados is a very safe country. Even our few “bad” areas aren’t really so bad. Jamaica has some of the most beautiful natural sights in the world – in truth, even prettier than Barbados – but many tourists won’t set foot on the island because, as they see it, Jamaica is just not worth the risk…
We in Barbados shouldn’t forget about that when the issue of policing comes up. 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…
Stupid, Short-Sighted Choices Made By Owen Arthur’s (& David Thompson’s) Government
IF the Owen Arthur and the other BLP leaders had been intelligent, they would have made policing and crime control a priority for the last 12 years that they formed the Government. Those idiots don’t recognize that public safety and rule of law is the very foundation upon which everything else is built.
That the Barbados Government has not made policing a priority is there for all to see – over 100 officers short, policing services curtailed, “wages” that are an insult, experienced officers leaving for other organizations or getting out of law enforcement altogether and a deteriorating level of confidence in the ability of the police to deal with increasingly violent crimes.
Many of our officers even lack a proper uniform and cannot afford to purchase decent uniform kit even if they wanted to.
The Owen Arthur Government has been more concerned about controlling the perception of crime in Barbados than about controlling crime itself. As a result, our Royal Barbados Police Force is understaffed, under-trained and under-equipped.
Our police force is quickly becoming a third-rate banana republic organization that pays so poorly it is unable to attract anywhere near enough qualified recruits.
All Bajans and especially whoever forms the next government had better start paying attention to how vital policing is to our tourist-based economy… because if we don’t, those chickens are going to come home to roost.
BFP Photo by Shona: Accra Beach