Boscobel Shooting: Residents in fear as Barbados Police fail to respond

“Ten minutes of gunplay and shooting at football match”

“At least one from Boscobel Toll Gang involved” says witness

Contrary to a published news story that no locals were involved in the football-match shootout last Sunday night in Boscobel, a witness reports to Barbados Free Press that at least one of the gunslingers is part of the infamous Road Toll Gang that hangs out at the “T” in Boscobel.

The anonymoused email telling of the Toll Gang connection was one of several sent to Barbados Free Press about the shooting incident.

“The small man with the old round gun is one of them at the T” said the email. (We presume a “round” gun means a revolver as opposed to a Glock or other modern gun, although we’re guessing because we’ve never heard that “round gun” term before – Editor)

“Half an hour before first police come…”

Another person tells BFP that the police did not arrive for some 30 minutes after the first shots, but to their credit the police were not shy when they finally appeared.

One BFP reader comments that the Barbados Today story “Lawless” doesn’t fully express the full scene of terror and panic as the crowd of onlookers ran for their lives.

Each of the emails received by BFP is anonymous and expresses the fear about going to the police and ending up with attention from the shooters at the football match. One email states there were two groups of people with guns: one from St. Peter and another group from outside.

Why haven’t the police been effective in Boscobel?

Commissioner Dottin ignored Boscobel Road Toll Gang for 5 years

The Boscobel “Road Toll Gang” has been terrorizing and extorting tourists and outsiders for at least five years. Thousands of tourists have been accosted. Hotels and car hire agencies regularly warn tourists to avoid the area. These thugs have been subjects of discussion at Trip Advisor and other travel forums for a full five years.

Barbados Free Press published our first story on the gang over two years ago on September 16, 2008. Since then we’ve published close to ten stories about the Boscobel Road Toll Gang – chiding the police and our political leadership for their inability to stop these thugs.

We didn’t break the story of the gang, we merely reported what was being said for years beforehand on other very influential tourist websites. The gang’s recent activities are still the subject of discussions at Trip Advisor and other important tourism forums: never no mind that former Prime Minister David Thompson emailed a Canadian tourist last March that “(Boscobel Road Toll Gang) has been investigated… I have received no other negative reports”

Obviously, Police Commissioner Dottin gave a song and dance to the Prime Minister because the tourist reports keep coming!

BFP’s articles about the Boscobel Road Toll Gang…

September 9, 2010 Dear Commissioner Dottin: About those internet “rumours” of Barbados Police corruption and incompetence…

August 23, 2010 Boscobel toll gang still extorting tourists. Barbados police helpless.

June 27, 2010 Canadian investor Bob Verdun accosted by Barbados Boscobel Toll Gang

March 25, 2010 Barbados Prime Minister emails Canadian tourist: “(Boscobel Road Toll Gang) has been investigated… I have received no other negative reports”

January 8, 2010 Barbados Police Helpless as hundreds of tourists extorted every month by Boscobel road toll gang

June 17, 2009  Boscobel Road Toll Gang Still Operating Freely In Barbados

September 16, 2008 Barbados Police Helpless In Stopping Boscobel Road Toll Gang

Further Reading at Barbados Today


By Davidson Bowen

The long arm of the law is being accused of arthritic movement because of its response to a shooting incident in Boscobel, St. Peter last weekend.

Now that they are no longer dodging bullets and running for their lives, some residents of that community are livid over the length of time it took the police to respond.

Still shaken and not wanting to be identified for fear of being shot at again, many residents have also expressed disgust over the blatant disregard for life shown at Sunday night’s football match by gunmen openly brandishing guns from the not so small to the very big.

“Understand the ignorance, this whole thing started because a man was asked not to park and block a driveway. That is common sense. But he start to curse and carry on and the next thing you know he drawing a gun, other men drawing guns and their friends drawing guns and going to cars for guns,” said one resident.

continue reading this article at Barbados Today


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

22 responses to “Boscobel Shooting: Residents in fear as Barbados Police fail to respond

  1. WTF?

    BFP says “Commissioner Dottin ignored Boscobel Road Toll Gang for 5 years”

    I say “BFP ignored Barbados Today for a year but is linking to their stories after ignoring them.”

    BFP: Why did you ignore Barbados Today? What made you start to link to their stories?

  2. Chester

    Why are you people surprised?

    There is a serious crime wave in St. James. Since the beginning of the year there were several serious aggravated burglaries in the area of Paynes Bay, near Daphne’s. The owner of the Chinese shop next to Simon’s boutique and across from Treasure Beach Hotel was attacked and badly beaten by a bandit who hid in the bathroom. The owner of the village shop at the bottom of Holder’s Hill was attacked in July and severely injured. Both men spent in excess of 6 weeks in the hospital fighting for their lives.

    On the same day that the shopkeeper was attacked two armed men held up the roadside shop of that man near Queen”s College, school. In the past week, two break ins in Durants Village, St. James. Police came eventually, but guess what brought no forensic team to dust for finger prints.

    None of the above matters are being actively pursued by the police. Too busy hanging out in rum shops in the area to care about the residents while the drugs are traded openly and criminals run about at large. Can’t get the police to come to save your life. Can’t get them to investigate anything. They are waiting for someone to tell them who did the crime.

    There was a little concern when the British High Commission issued their advisory but nothing since. Can’t only care about tourists.

    Shameful….Shameful…Shameful. Vigilante justice will soon be around the corner.

  3. Why cant the police and the defence force clamp down on these renagades or are waiting for the same to happen in barbados as jamacia , just check out trip advisor 28 post about this very problem ,its going to harm the tourist trade you know where the problem is so stike while the iron is hot .

  4. LOL!

    Can’t/won’t clamp down on excessively-noisy motorbikes (bearing zero identification, as well)

    Can’t do anything about Barbados’ number one source/aggravation of athsma
    –our disgusting vehicle emissions
    i.e. smelly unburnt particles of vaporised diesel
    in the form of ‘black smoke’ emanating from every ZR van,
    and every diesel truck!

    Quite amazing.
    Maybe the y expect the populace to be self-regulating?

  5. Green Monkey

    As I said before, they’ll wait until the first victim gets shot, or stabbed and then everyone will spring into action and we will be assured that no effort or expense will be spared to bring the despicable criminal(s) to justice. If it is an unfortunate tourist who is the victim there will also by many sincere assurances given for the foreign media’s benefit that this is most assuredly an anomaly and uncharacteristic of the typical friendly Bajans who eagerly welcome visitors to our shores with our friendly smiles, yada, yada, yada – you know the drill as well as I do.

    That just seems to be the way things work in Barbados. Why practice preventive maintenance when you can wait for it to brek down first and then try to fix it at 10 times the expense?

  6. Not Trash

    Green Monkey is right and it sound like what happen to the Canadian tourist murdered at Long Beach. There was rape robbery and thefts by the same person for two years before the Canadian lady was murdered.

    Nothing was done until a tourist was murdered. Then they called her WHITE TRASH at Barbados Underground. Those words are still posted there at BU.

  7. Politically Tired

    How many times have you done articles about this road gang? too many! I’m sick & tired of the lack of action by the police with these people, the police are very aware of who they are, now they’re terrorising their own at local events as well as terrorising unsuspecting tourists. I tell visitors here not to drive that way, or if they must don’t stop, its a ridiculous situation.

  8. RRRicky

    The nation paper says this was only one of THREE SHOOTING INCIDENTS at football matches within a few days (3 or 4 days).

    Welcome to Jamaica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. North star

    well i was at the football match and saw our former PM Owen Arthur there. I must say the BLP followers should be grateful Mr. Arthur left before the shots were fired cause he was so drunk i’m sure he wouldn’t have made it to his jeep. I wish i could’ve filmed him stumbling to his jeep cause a picture is worth lots of money!!!

  10. Sayed


    you get what you pay for.

    right guys?

  11. Green Monkey

    I hope this is not what it takes before some action is taken by the RBPF to clamp down on the Boscobel area gunmen and tourist harassers.

    17 Celebrity Cruises Passengers Robbed at Gunpoint in St. Kitts

    Seventeen passengers from the ocean liner Celebrity Mercury were robbed at gunpoint Sunday while taking a bus tour of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, the cruise line has confirmed.

    In a statement, Celebrity Cruises said there were 16 adult passengers and one child on the bus. It said no one was physically harmed, and all of the guests are safely back on the ship, being offered support by the crew.

    An Associated Press report said the masked gunmen escaped with the passengers’ jewelry, cameras and money.

  12. Sayed

    welcome to Somalia gentlemen.

    When the tourism is gone, it’ll be even worse.

    Stiffer penalties for crimes are needed.

    Can you imagine being the victim of someone who has commited his 20th crime but is still on the streets and there to rob you?

    That is the reality you face in Barbados, people with 20 + convictions before the court again for more.

    But continue to indulge crime and criminals. Until one day you are all affected, hopefully the politicians and judges, and then they might try to do something about it.

    There needs to be minimum sentence of 5-10 years for anyone using force to commit any crime. Robbery or Burglary. Not the petty fines and 1 year sentences being given.

    It will only get worse. With this lawless generation growing up. And believe me they are lawless, and those who stay within the limits of the law have no respect for authority anyway.

  13. de hood

    So, what else did you expect? When cops in Barbados are paid little more than “bus fare and lunch” as remuneration for big men and women with families to house, feed and educate! So what level of individual do you think the RBPF is going to be able to attract as recruits at the kind of remuneration they are paid? Anyone with any level of intelligence (4/5 CXC certificates) will decide it just is not worth the while to work such a stressful, dangerous and underpaid job. They could just as well become “vendors” and bring in far more income with far less education! And, of course, needless to say what they will most likely be “vending”.
    So, I say to those responsible (government, Police hierarchy, the Commissioner etc) keep on doing things the same way it’s always been done and expecting a different result is the height of being ridiculous. But, I guess this is how it has always been done here and it will continue to be done so.
    So, good luck folk and, believe me, we soon gonna need all the luck that we can get. Just look at Jamaica, Guyana & Trinidad amongst others. Do I hear those with their heads buried saying. . . . “Nah, man that kyar happen hey!!” Remember that we could never experience something like “Tomas” here because “God is Bajan”! Right? So, press on regardless!
    BTW, it just came to me that we have nothing to fear, all we got to do is get an expatriate Commissioner of Police and all will be well!!

  14. de hood

    The following is quoted from a statement made by the Commissioner of Police in Trinidad, Dwane Gibbs, and printed by either Newsday or Express in Trinidad:-

    Quote:- “Another issue Gibbs said he would tackle is police corruption, which will not be tolerated by his new executive. He said he intends to meet with all the various stakeholders to ensure officers are properly compensated for their work.
    “It’s not acceptable for corruption. It’s not acceptable for police officers to lower their integrity and be involved with criminal elements. There are many different factors that go along with that, and why that corruption exists. I hope to get to the root of it and help the service back on track in terms of their professionalism and their purpose for their work,” he said.
    “Those (corruption) are some of the symptoms that we see with regards to some police officers not getting paid well enough to support their families and themselves. In any society, if you do not support yourself or if you haven’t got enough to adequately supply food or clothing for yourself, that leaves the door open to seek that type of money in other ways and some of that could come by in illegal means, which is not appropriate.”
    Are we seeing some similarities pertaining to Barbados in Mr. Gibbs statement?

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  16. Mac

    Trying to find the article in Tuesday or Wednesday ‘s Nation paper (23rd or 24th November 2010) – Seems to have disappeared from the nations website.

    In it C.O.P Dottin effectively said that the Task Force couldn’t attend the incident of National Emergency at Boscobel football match because all the personnel were busy training how to deal issues of National Emergency.

    If any one has a copy, I would love to read it again, just for the laugh. Shame it’s not funny though.

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  21. Anonymous

    The gangs are rising. Barbados needs action from the police now.