Tag Archives: Barbados Tourist Safety

Barbados Police Commissioner reveals truth: There is no new plan.

Dottin earlier said he didn’t want to reveal too much. Now we know why.

“Steps are being taken to ensure that the legislative framework is there to facilitate…”

In the wake of two separate shooting murders last weekend, The Nation Newspaper called up Commissioner Dottin on January 2nd and politely asked what the Royal Barbados Police Force was doing to address escalating serious crime. As we reported on January 3rd, Dottin mouthed some buzz words and told the reporters he “didn’t want to reveal too much” and that “the full matter would be addressed at a Press Conference this week with media personnel.”

The Commissioner held his press conference on Thursday, January 6th, and unless every journalist there is conspiring to withhold details of the new police plan from the public, the simple truth is… there is no new plan, no new response and nothing really to report.

Oh… our Commissioner of Police did say that thieves target laptops, gold and diamonds. Imagine that. Thanks, Commissioner! Continue reading

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Royal Barbados Police Force a house divided

Journalists’ leadership questions dog Commissioner Dottin at RBPF press conference

“…so emboldened, the deputy sought to make a complaint against the top cop – no one is sure if this is related to the connected matter or if there are other details in addition to the open fracas? Yet when the review of 2010 with Crime In Barbados unfolded today at Police Headquarters at Roebuck Street – Bertie Hinds was conspicuously absent!

This led Peter Thorne from CBC to query if there was still disagreement between the two officers and Commissioner Dottin declined to respond, then almost immediately afterwards, Mike King of the Nation asked if the top cop has any plans of announcing a retirement in the near future and again Dottin refused to answer! Usually such declinations are left to die on the vine, but in the interests of all Barbados it needs to be made clear…”

from the Bajan Reporter article Power Play between Police Commissioner of Barbados and Deputy remains simmering

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police

Barbados Police response for murderous start to 2011: “Meetings, concern, intense discussions, strategies, press conference”

How many robberies, shootings, murders in the last 6 months? We’ve lost count – but Cruise Critic is paying attention.

With so many shootings and murders in the last year and the incredible rise in robberies, drive-by shootings and murders in the last few months, we’d have thought that Police Commissioner Dottin and the Royal Barbados Police Force would already be in the middle of some concerted efforts to stop the bloodshed and make it safe for folks to attend local football matches again.

Apparently not.

In the wake of two more shot dead in separate incidents on the weekend,  The Nation called up Commissioner Dottin to politely ask “What the hell is happening to our country and are the police going to do about it?”

Dottin’s answer was stunning for its lack of content, urgency or real action.

Continue reading

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First Time! Transport Minister mentions ‘Breathalyser’ will be part of new Road Traffic Act

Is this announcement legitimate or once again blowing off the press?

Transport Minister John Boyce

For the fourteenth time since January 2006, a Barbados government Minister has announced that a new Road Act should be ready “soon”.

Today’s announcement comes from Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce, who tells The Nation that the new Road Traffic Amendment Act “should soon be ready”.

For the very first time we are being told that the act will have a breathalyser section.

But read a little further and you’ll see that the new law will be ready for “public comment” at the end of March. How much longer it will be before it gets through Parliament, or why the law has been sitting around since 2007, we’re not told.

We’re also informed by the Minister that the DLP government has “been talking about recently” a new Road Safety Umbrella organization called “National Council for Road”.

Well, isn’t that nice? The Minister has been “talking” about it. No doubt there will be more meetings about holding more meetings “soon”.

Minister Boyce’s announcement was no doubt in response to a recent series of articles at Barbados Free Press where we chided the government for not caring about road deaths due to drunk drivers, and the fact that British tourists have a 240% greater chance of being killed in a car accident in Barbados than back home.

So Boyce says that Barbados will have breathalyser laws in 2011.

Do we believe Minister Boyce?

Given the record: Not really.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police, Politics

Winnipeg Canada police arrest 55 drunk drivers since December 3rd. Barbados police arrest…?

Traffic Division Inspector Blades: How many drunk drivers did Barbados Police fail to stop?

With about double the population of Barbados, the city of Winnipeg, Canada makes for an interesting comparison when it comes to arresting drunk drivers.

Since December 3rd, the Winnipeg Police have stopped 1,422 vehicles in their annual month-long Christmas crackdown on drinking and driving. So far they have arrested 55 drunk drivers, of which 51 were male. The average age is 34 years old.

During the same period the Royal Barbados Police arrested this many drunk drivers… Continue reading

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Warning, Graphic: Another untidy road death

“We are not an enforcement society”

Those words spoken by the late Prime Minister David Thompson one night on the CBC were nothing but the truth. Folks were aghast that he said the words – but at the same time seemed unconcerned about the truth of his statement. How like us that is: we’re concerned about the image, not with the reality of our society’s faults.

We are NOT an enforcement society. It shows in the trash on the streets, in the number of people and businesses that fail to pay taxes for years (sometimes decades) without penalties and when people steal millions from the public purse and never a charge is laid.

And it shows in the number of fatal accidents on our roads. Tourists from the UK have a 240% greater chance of dying in a road accident in Barbados than back at home. We lose more people to road deaths than to murder, but we don’t have effective laws against drinking and driving. Our Royal Barbados Police Force is 100 officers under strength because we pay Constables less than we pay our garbage workers.

And so another young man died on Thursday morning.

Tito Michael Anderson Bradshaw of Wilkinson Road, Richmond Gap, St. Michael, died at about 8:40am at 1st Avenue Weekes Land near Goodland, St. Michael. He lost control of his motorcycle and his head hit a pole.

A crowd gathered. His mum was brought to the scene and the poor woman lost it right there and it’s no wonder. But in a short while the body was removed and the blood and brains on the road were hosed down. After the sun dried everything up, it was like nothing had ever happened. No tourists would be alarmed. No locals would be concerned when passing by the site.

“The guy was riding a scrambler at top speed. Remember only a couple of weeks ago we were talking about these scramblers and the danger that they pose.”

BFP reader ‘What will they think of next?’

Whether it’s crime or road accidents, our police are excellent at cleaning up – just not so good at prevention. And who can blame them when the politicians stage cricket parties and celebratory evenings but won’t pass the laws that the police need to protect us all.

The photos are grim, gruesome even – but we’re going to show them here in full because they might save another young man’s life. Our thanks to BFP reader ‘What will they think of next’.

Here are the graphic photos… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Police

Breaking: Murder at Brighton Beach, Barbados

UPDATED: December 9, 2010 4:17am Bridgetown

– Victim is Governor-General’s Brother-in-law

– Died in “frenzied attack” while out for morning beach walk and sea-bath

– Police say robbery is not motive. Victim may have seen something.

Photo courtesy of Barbados Today: Elderly man killed

Nation News: Elderly man succumbs to stab wounds

Original story…

Fred Parris, 90 years old, stabbed to death – body found at popular beach

Was the elderly resident of Stanmore Terrace, Black Rock, St. Michael murdered at the beach or at another place and then dumped on the path? Paros are not unknown at Brighton Beach during the night. Continue reading

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Rumours of Crimes: Sandy Lane gunpoint beach robbery

Updated: December 4, 2010

Report confirmed: Barbados Today builds on our story and gets confirmation from the Royal Barbados Police Force that two tourists were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight on Sandy Lane beach. If the mega rich aren’t safe at Sandy Lane in the middle of the day, pray tell me who is?

How much serious crime goes unmentioned in the Barbados news media?

Here are two of the emailed crime alerts currently making the rounds in Barbados. Folks must use an abundance of caution when receiving or forwarding these types of alerts because as we’ve seen in the past some of them are bogus.

If the Royal Barbados Police Force published crime report summaries online for citizens to see instead of dishing out a few “hot” stories to the regular news media like you’d reward your doggie with a biscuit, citizens could be informed straight from the source and make their own decisions with good information.

Instead, we are forced to rely upon tweets and emails from neighbourhood organizations because the police don’t do their job and alert citizens to high crime areas… until there is a body or a tourist hurt.

Anyway, here’s today’s emails talking of crimes that were never reported in the news media. Did they really happen? We think so, but we’re only ordinary citizens so our masters at the police don’t allow us access to the truth unless it suits their agenda.

Crime #1

Sandy Lane Property Owners Association ADVISORY

This advisory is to alert all SLPOA Property Owners and Residents that a daylight robbery has occurred near our Beach Facility. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Police

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. Continue reading

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

Canadian Government warns about investing and real estate purchases in Barbados (!!!)

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recently changed the Barbados Travel Advice and Advisories to include the following additional paragraph:

“Canadians interested in purchasing property or making other investments should seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in this country before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.”

This change reflects a report circulated at Foreign Affairs earlier in the year.

Also of interest is that Long Beach is still listed as a place to avoid for reasons of crime and personal safety. I understood that the Long Beach rapist/killer was caught, but I don’t know if the continued listing is an oversight or the result of new crimes and information.

Yours truly,

@gc.ca

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Canada, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Attention Barbados Police: Please keep looking for the madman throwing stones!

Madman… or setting up a Robbery?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Forwarding this for your readers’ information, this also happened to a vendor driving to Brighton market a few weeks ago, 5am, dark, man jumped out of a cane field & threw a rock at her car. She was very frightened as driving alone, & reported it to the police.

signed: Politically Tired (very!)

(Editor’s comment: Thanks, Politically Tired. If you Google “threw rock at car” you’ll find that this happens all over the world AND that it is incredibly dangerous. Recently a 17 year-old girl in the USA was killed by a rock thrown at a car. We hope our police give this crime the priority it deserves.)

Now back to the letter from Politically Tired…

Dear All,

Last night 18 October 2010 around 11.30 pm my wife and I were returning home. We had just left the Norman Niles roundabout heading East to the Salters junction, when a man stood up from the side of the road and hurled a huge stone at our vehicle. Continue reading

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Policing Barbados: Stupid, Short-Sighted Choices Made By Successive DLP/BLP Governments

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

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Trip Advisor post about Barbados “ZR Hustling Pimps”

Editor’s Note: With 500 employees and some 25 million registered active users, Trip Advisor is probably one of the most influential travel websites in the world. (For some idea of the freeflow of ideas and information that happens there, read the Trip Advisor thread Barbados or Jamaica?)

One traveler recently posted an article about our ZRs, which we lifted and repeat below.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the collective opinion on this island is that it is about time for our government to stop talking and to start acting to rein in these ZR outlaws. The number one threat to our tourism industry is not beach erosion or over building or rudeness towards tourists (although those factors are all important).

The number one threat to our tourism industry is anything that conveys a message that Barbados is an unsafe tourism destination. Anything that even smells like it might make tourists think about their personal safety should be taken care of with all dispatch.

When will our government start putting these outlaws out of business?

Ya can’t hide this stuff anymore folks. It’s called THE INTERNET…

First of all, look at the accident statistics…

“Barbados was ranked in the Top 10 nations with accident victims according to the size of their population, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which compiles and publishes data on a range of economic and social issues every year.

It reported that Barbadians were getting injured in road accidents at an annual rate of 763 victims for every 100 000 people on the island, putting it in the eighth spot, just ahead of Japan, the United States, Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, Canada and South Korea, among others. Only Qatar, Kuwait, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Panama and Jordan were higher on the list.

No other Caribbean country was listed among the top 50 states when it came to road accident victims.”

Posted on Trip Advisor by “Madwand” of Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA

ZR Hustling Pimps of Barbados

I posted some of this in another message, but wanted to elaborate for the sake of anyone looking to ride on the ZR buses. This was never mentioned in any of the reading I did before I went.

Some of the ZR buses are very dangerous and operating illegally. These will be the ones you will see that will stop for you even though there are already so many people in the vehicle that they are squeezing out the windows. These buses will have a ZR pimp operating the side door and doing the hustling. He will be the one snatching people in and out of the vehicle to make room for more people. These will be the ones that are stuffed over capacity and are not safe to ride on.

The first ZRs I rode in was so bad we got stopped at an intersection by a cop and several people were made to get off and the driver was written a warning. Then he blasted off again doing the same thing, zooming through subdivisions trying to beat traffic. To top it off, when we got to B’town, I was expecting the bus station, not a parking lot full of ZRs, so I didn’t get off, and nobody said anything. and halfway back to Oistens the ZR pimp told me I had to pay again. So I got off and handed him another $1.50 to get off. Then paid another $1.50 to go back to B’town again. At least the second bus wasn’t husting, so it was nice and safe.

If you are waiting for a ZR bus and you see one like this stop and solicit you, do not get on or you will regret it. You will see a dozen of them in a minute’s time, so don’t feel like you have to get on the first one that stops for you, even if the ZR pimp persists on taking you. Keep waiting til one stops for you that is not stuffed full.

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