Tag Archives: Tourist Safety

One student critical, twenty-two injured by reckless ZR driver

More young students critically injured by another ZR maniac driver.

More young students critically injured by another ZR maniac driver.

14 year old student Zakiyah DeFreitas lost her left hand and 21 others received lesser injuries when a ZR van overturned in The City yesterday. The van flipped near the entrance to the nursery Drive Terminal.

Twenty-two students in a ZR van? Of course it overturned at the slightest provocation. Top heavy, overloaded, too fast. Half the time driven by maniacs with dozens of convictions – or in the case of ZR driver Cyril O’Bryan Archer one hundred and ninety-eight driving convictions prior to being found guilty of dangerous driving in the death of bicyclist Errol Thornhill on route taxi AR42 in 2010.

Insurance? What’s that? Half the ZR vans don’t have insurance and the police don’t seem to care.

Yesterday’s incident is only the latest. More will follow next month. It’s been this way for a decade or more. TripAdvisor calls ZR Drivers “Hustling Pimps“.

Our leaders don’t care, and don’t do anything to stop the slaughter.

Photo courtesy of The Nation

 

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

Irony: Shot tourists return as guests of Barbados – as another tourist is shot.

tourist shot Barbados

“I would not mind getting shot again to go through that! It really was a fantastic holiday and they did us so proud. It was quite overwhelming.

Everybody was so kind and so concerned, and so very, very happy that we had gone back, but for us, it did not hold any fear or trepidation.”

DISS Express: Couple shot on Barbados holiday return for “holiday of a lifetime”

March 3, 2014 Ipswisch Star: Philip and Ann Prior to return to Barbados a year after shooting

March 17, 2013 BFP: British tourists shot in broad daylight – Sunday afternoon walkabout in Bridgetown

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Is it the government’s policy that tourists get a two week all-expenses-paid free vacation if they are shot during a visit? Does this offer apply to the most recent victims, or just Mr. and Mrs Prior?

Should we advertise this as a feature of vacationing in Barbados? I can see the advertisement now:

“Our Bajan vacation guarantee: Should things go terribly wrong, we’ll give you a free holiday once you’ve recovered!”

Many will say that I am being unreasonable by bringing this up, but my point is not that we shouldn’t have looked after these good people (or any visitors having some trouble to any degree). My point is that something is going terribly wrong on this island and has been going terribly wrong for a number of years. And it is getting worse.

At the same time that Mr. and Mrs. Prior were here for their free ‘compensation holiday’, another tourist (this one from Canada) was fighting for his life after being shot…

On March 12, 2014, four gunmen burst into a rented beach apartment at Bath and shot Canadian tourist Johnathan Huddle in front of his wife and 11 month old daughter. Fortunately Mr. Huddle survived – according to various reports because he and his wife are both trained soldiers with tours in Afghanistan…

… from BFP’s One month after Canadian tourist shot – no excuse for 1 hour ambulance wait

And there have been many other incidents in the last year. Is it just me, or is it all going to hell?

name withheld by request

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Barbados Tourism Disaster: Serial rape victims slam police, government, tourism authorities

Daylight rape near popular beach – scene of 13 reported rapes in past year – tourists not alerted – police did nothing

Police “callous, incompetent, totally inept”

“Barbados authorities are more concerned about protecting the lucrative tourist industry than they are about seeking justice.”

Police “try to brush the rapes under the carpet so as not to damage the overseas tourist market”

Questions about the role of racism in the attacks and lack of police response

British tourist and serial rape victim Diane Davies is going public in a major news story about how she was raped in broad daylight near the “Platinum Coast” Sandy Lane Hotel. On Monday, October 25, 2010 the 62 year old grandmother was beaten and raped at the same spot where another tourist had been raped just two days earlier and where 13 women had been raped in the previous year.

The Barbados Police never alerted citizens and tourists about the serial rapist in the area, nor did they make serious efforts to arrest the serial rapist.

Perhaps Police Commissioner Dottin can explain why he didn’t care enough to order a stake-out of the serial rapist’s chosen spot, or alert women in the area that they were at a high risk of rape?

Instead, and as usual, the Barbados Police played their role in what has become an all-too-familiar story of covering up crime against tourists.

Our government, police and tourism authorities just don’t get it: The way to protect our lucrative tourism industry is to protect the tourists – and when something does happen, to immediately respond with professionalism, massive resources and genuine care and compassion for the victim.

Millions of prospective tourists around the world are now reading…

“The truth is that if a woman  is raped in Barbados, she is unlikely to get the support she needs. There are almost no procedures in place and the police are way behind in how they tackle crime.”

British tourist and serial rape victim Diane Davies in the Daily Mail story I was viciously raped on this Barbados beach but local police cared more about protecting tourism, says brave British grandmother

Memories of murdered tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Our government, police and tourism industry obviously learned nothing from the February 28, 2009 daylight beach murder of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld. Mrs. Schwarzfeld’s murder came after her killer had committed a series rapes and robberies at the same spot over the course of several years.

The police and tourism authorities covered up the crimes and ineptly left the serial criminal to continue his business at his usual location. That cover-up and incompetence is part of the reason that Mrs. Schwarzfeld was murdered on a tourist beach in broad daylight.

Then when Mrs. Schwarzfeld was murdered there was the usual total lack of proper response from the authorities. Continue reading

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

US Tourist robbed, says Barbados police conduct “shocking”

Police demanded victim change his official statement to match another witness statement!

Why this visitor will not be returning to Barbados

by Fred Kraxberger, US Citizen

Dear Barbados Free Press,

On 02/09/2011 while fishing at Archers Bay, St. Lucy, Barbados around 7 to 7:15 PM my Bajan friend and I (a US citizen) were the victims of a robbery, and our lives threatened by a Bajan man with a machete.  He also told us he would shoot us if we did not do what he said.  We did as he said.  He got a cell phone and cash.  This is not the first time this man has robbed someone, he knew what he was doing.

When the Crab Hill Police arrived they did a short interview with us.  When I was told that I could go and retrieve our belongings, I went back to the scene of the robbery.  One officer was there when I got there.  He did not have a flashlight on.  I ask him if it was ok to pickup my things because he had not been down there that long.  He said it was ok.  I picked up my fishing light so that I could find our belongings.  I noticed something that was not there before the robbery.  I pointed it out to the officer and told him that it must have come from the robber.  He ignored me. Continue reading

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Terry Schwarzfeld killer’s sentence increased to 15 years

Curtis Joel Foster to receive “anger management” classes

Most Canadians and Barbadians were outraged in March of 2010 when Terry Schwarzfeld’s killer was allowed to plead to manslaughter and sentenced with a slap of the wrist to only ten years in prison. The government appealed and the courts upped Foster’s sentence to 15 years with the decision being announced on Friday last. In a sop to the idea that monstrous evil can be “rehabilitated”, the judge also ordered that Foster be given “anger management” classes. This is in contrast to a number of Barbadians who suggest that Foster’s “anger management” lessons would be better delivered at the end of a hangman’s noose. Continue reading

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Barbados High Court Judge: Public execution murders and witnesses won’t testify, undermining courts.

When the police cannot or will not protect witnesses, can we expect anything else?

High court Justice Randall Worrell (above) is worried about a trend that is undermining our court system and threatening the very fabric of our society: after witnessing their friends murdered on the street in execution-style killings, witnesses don’t want to testify to the point that they are changing their stories or running off the island.

Well, do ya think? Consider that most of the time when the police are called, they take their own sweet time to arrive. A month or so ago there was a gun battle at a football match in Boscobel and the police never arrived for almost an hour! At the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary shots were fired the police never came at all. Continue reading

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Barbados school children dive for ground as man shot near playing field

Police spokesperson: “The children were not in danger”

On Tuesday morning, 10:40am, during school hours, 150 children and 3 teachers of the Springer Memorial School were at the Blenheim Playing Field when a 23 year old man was shot twice near the western end of the playing field. News reports don’t say how many shots were fired in total.

The teachers yelled at the children to lay flat on the ground as the gunshots rang out nearby.

Royal Barbados Police Force public relations officer Inspector David Welch has the idiocy to say “From the reports, the children were not in danger.”

That’s not a very intelligent statement from the Inspector for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that wild pistol fire has been responsible in the past for deaths at great distances. According to the law enforcement range charts on the internet, a 9mm pistol round can be lethal (not accurate, but still lethal) to 2,400 yards and still impact at 350 feet per second. Even a little .22 bullet can kill at one mile.

What really irks me as a parent is this senior police officer telling us no worries, the children were safe. That is nothing but spin and parents are not stupid enough to buy into that spin. Inspector David Welch lost all credibility with me.

(name withheld by request)

Further Reading

Nation News: Shooting leaves man injured

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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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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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Tourism Matters: More Barbados tourists robbed on the beach in daylight

Reassuring words from the police mean little on TripAdvisor and Facebook

by Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

If I had to name one single issue that could seriously endanger our most important industry, it would be any breakdown in our overall ability to keep our visitors safe and secure.

Sadly, it seems that a few of our policymakers, both in tourism and those involved in national security believe that by keeping crime against tourists out of the local media, no-one is going to hear about it.

What they do not appear to comprehend is that with the internet, social media and the increasingly popular blogs, it’s almost impossible to keep anything secret.

The days of playing ostrich are gone! Continue reading

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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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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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Do we need armed officers at each Barbados school? Shot fired during school canteen robbery

Violent criminals know the Barbados Police Force is understrength by 100+ officers

When two thugs burst into the Parkinson School canteen just after lunch on Friday and fired a shot to terrorize the staff, they knew that they could probably get clean away. That’s because criminals, like the rest of us, have noticed that patrolling police officers are a rare sight in Barbados compared with even two or three years ago.

According to the story in The Nation, canteen owner Nancy Lynch was taken to hospital and another woman had a gun placed right against her chest as people screamed and ran from the masked men.

In our school.

Where our children are.

Where we send them every day to learn and be safe.

School Principal Orson Alleyne wrong about one thing…

“It is frightening to think that in this society we can come to the point where people can think they can come onto a school compound and perform such acts, and in broad daylight,” … school principal Orson Alleyne

The truth is that the thugs don’t think they can rob a school in broad daylight with our children there – they know they can do it because they, like the rest of us, watched the politicians squeeze the budget of our Royal Barbados Police Force for the last 15 years.

Dale Marshall - Policing not a priority

Former Attorney General Dale Marshall told potential Barbados police recruits that they shouldn’t expect to be paid anywhere near what they could earn elsewhere as police officers. That said everything about what Mr. Marshall’s priorities were. (To be fair though, Dale Marshall’s government did give us a hell of a Cricket World Cup party over a few weeks for only a half a billion dollars or thereabouts.)

Policing and community safety was not a priority for the Mottley/Arthur BLP government and it is not a priority for the current DLP government. That’s why our police force doesn’t have the money to attract and hire the more than 100 officers who haven’t been replaced.

An Insider Talks

Continue reading

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Guilty plea in killing of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld raises official hopes that the story will now go away

Murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Curtis Joel Foster 25, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Barbados High Court on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. He will be sentenced on February 17th next. (Canada.com news here)

Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld was walking at Long Beach at the south coast on February 28, 2009 with her daughter-in-law when Foster attacked and robbed them in broad daylight. When the women resisted, Foster used a piece of wood to club them. Mrs. Schwarzfeld never recovered from her head injuries and died in Canada after she was flown back in a coma.

On the surface this brings some small resolution for the victim’s family and friends, but as much as the word “closure” is thrown around by the news media, we know that the people who loved Terry Schwarzfeld will never forget the circumstances of her passing. Good Bajans everywhere offer their sympathies and regrets and pray that her family and friends will not be lacking in strength and support.

Tourist Murder happened after police ignored a year of robberies and rapes at Long Beach

As much as everyone now regrets the murder of Terry Schwarzfeld, it turns out that a blind man on a fast horse could have seen months in advance what was eventually going to happen to some poor soul at Long Beach.

The Royal Barbados Police Force had to admit publicly that the organisation failed to note the violent crime rampage against tourists at Long Beach for over a year preceding the murder. Long Beach was a robbery and rape “hot spot”, but we Bajans and the tourists were never warned. Neither was there a coordinated police response to stop the attacks.

It turns out that the Commissioner of Police failed to appoint staff to record and analyze crime types and locations to note “hot spots” so that sufficient police resources could be assigned to protect the public or to arrest Curtis Joel Foster and stop his reign of terror. It took the murder of a tourist before anyone paid attention, and even then the police, the government and the Bajan news media initially went into their standard “cover-up” mode that happens when a tourist is attacked. (See BFP’s article Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”)

Have Barbados Police Ever Heard Of A Crime Map???

Locating crime hot spots and detailing sufficient officers to protect the public and arrest the culprits is not rocket science, ya know.

As we’ve seen in countless television shows: the police put a big map of the area on the wall. When there is a robbery or violent crime, the officer puts a pin into the map at the location. The colour of the pin tells the type of crime. Then the officer says, “OH! Look at all the pins at Long Beach over the last few months. Rape, robbery, assault. I guess we’d better have a closer look.” Then the officer reads the descriptions of the culprits as given by the victims, notes the time and day of the week and other circumstances and says, “Hey, this looks like one guy is doing this, does his attacks late in the afternoon against lone women tourists at Long Beach. I guess we’d better watch the place or dress up a female police officer like a tourist, have her partners remain hidden and see if we can arrest this man before he kills somebody.”

The police don’t even have to use a fancy computer program, just pins on a map. If our police want a fancy program to map out the crimes, they might want to try using Google Maps for free as many other police forces do. It is really disgusting that Google offers a solution that could have saved Mrs. Schwarzfeld. But, hey – Commissioner Dottin didn’t see fit to put up an ordinary map and some pins on the wall so ya can’t really expect him to be knowledgeable ’bout something as sophisticated as Google Maps that children use to assist them with their school geography projects.

“Somebody” failed to note the violent crime rampage against tourists at Long Beach for over a year. “Somebody” failed to detail sufficient police resources to protect the tourists and arrest the suspect.

And because of those police failures, Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld died – and our most important industry is further imperiled as it is being pummeled by the economic crisis.

“It is time for the Royal Barbados Police Force to have the dynamic leadership and resources that it needs to protect Barbadians, our visitors and our economy. It is time for our government to realize that policing and public safety are more important to our economy than our beaches. It is also time for Commissioner Dottin to do the honourable thing.”

Further Reading

For more background on the year of violent crime at Long Beach and crime statistics, check out BFP’s article Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

BFP articles about Policing and the Terry Schwarzfeld Murder

October 12, 2009: Police urge Bajans to not walk alone in secluded areas, be wary of strangers approaching your home

September 7, 2009: Terry Schwarzfeld Tourist Murder: Preliminary Hearing Begins against accused Curtis Joel Foster

August 30, 2009: Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld Called “White Trash” – Senior Advisor to Barbados Prime Minister Publishes Articles on Same Racist Website!

June 29, 2009: British Tourist Shot, Robbed Near Sandy Lane Resort Barbados On June 4, 2009 – Victim Alleges Silence By Barbados News Media, Hotel, Tourism Authorities

March 23, 2009: Arrest In Terry Schwarzfeld Barbados Tourist Murder – But Can We Trust Our Police?

March 19, 2009: Barbados Tourist Attack Now Murder: Canadian Victim Terry Schwarzfeld Dies In Ottawa

March 9, 2009: Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”

March 8, 2009: Update – Barbados Tourist Beating Victim Terry Schwarzfeld – Condition Worsens “Significant Brain Damage”

March 5, 2009: Canadian Women Attacked On Barbados Beach – Shocked Barbadians Offer Regrets, Sympathy and Best Wishes To Victims, Families and Friends

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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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