Militating Against Crime In Austere Times

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, overtime and extra duty removed from the Police Force announced in the recent Budget

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, overtime and extra duty removed from the Police Force announced in the recent Budget

Submitted by Posh

I read in the Barbados Today publication about the meeting held between the Force and persons who have a vested interest in the St. Lawrence area. I particularly noted that it was stated by Inspector Streeks that the mobile unit is sometimes only staffed once a week due to resources. For those who don’t know resources really means man/woman power. (Not trying to patronize anyone).

There are one perhaps two issues I’d like to identify and perhaps offer my own opinion as to what might assist this situation. Firstly, the man power situation within the RBPF is not going to improve any time soon and in fact is only going to become worse. With the end to overtime and extra duty, all short falls in man power which would previously have been reinforced by extra/overtime is now no longer an option.

Then you have the ugly side effect of morale, no extra duty means low morale for any police force and while it is unfortunate it is unavoidable. So this tourist season we should all be prepared for less patrols, less visibility and less presence. What might happen is that some areas might be left vulnerable while others are bolstered.

As for the issues in the Gap, this issues cannot be solved by the territorial patrols, the police who respond to calls for service, accidents and other reports. Passing through or visiting an area isn’t going to help if all they do is roll by. They have a name for those police in North America, the street calls them rollers. They just roll on through, take no action on anything. What harassment, minor drug dealing, and other street crimes need are dedicated street crime squads and vice. The deviants are not stupid. A police squad can descend on them all day and they will never find the drugs on them. That’s where vice comes in.

Undercover work is a necessary component to street crime. The buy/bust. Police in plain clothes walks along, drugs are offered, retrieved from hiding place, bust takes place. This ideally should have a two fold effect, 1) remove the particular person busted for some time 2) give the would be deviants something else to think about. Some might say that the Task Force is the street crime unit. But they really are not, they are a special unit dealing with special weapons and tactics. You don’t see SWAT teams busting small time street dealers. It is overkill.

One other issue I believe that needs to be addressed is the numbers of the Force. As a population grows, as culture changes, as deviance becomes more prevalent as new crime trends emerge, the powers must evaluate the effectiveness of the Force. Ineffectiveness is not always a symptom of incompetence. Ineffectiveness could stem from any number of reasons. But for sure, lack of resources is one good reason.

In the 1990’s the 80’s the Force of this size might have been enough to effectively police this country. But how many more deviant, lawless and criminal minded people per 1000 of the population do we have? We know how many people are caught committing crime but what about the ones never caught?

We can never have a true total of how many people out there are willing to commit crime or planning to do so. What we can admit is that our society is far more deviant on more levels than previously. Has the Force’s resources increased proportionately to this?

The current establishment according to public documents is near or about 1498. We know the Force has significant vacancies around 70. Then there are a number of officers on suspension, a number of officers on protracted sick leave, a number of officers seconded. A number might be on maternity leave and another number might be on light-duty (unable to perform street duties). Then another number works in offices. Then some work in the courts. Some are on vacation each month, really you have 1400+ persons who need vacation each year in only 12 months a year. Then you have others on ordinary sick leave. What really can be left?

Let’s add with speculation being conservative:

  • Sick leave Protracted = 20
  • Light- duty = 30
  • Sick average per day = 75
  • Training = 20
  • Office/admin/clerical duty = 80
  • Maternity leave = 5
  • Secondment = 5
  • Suspended = 15

That’s 250 conservative number.

I know everyone will say that can’t hire anymore because of the economy. Well fine, we can let it all go to the dogs and never fix anything anymore because we’re broke, and all long term projections suggest we will be break for a very long time.

I wonder if the Prime Minister will get on a platform and say look at Greece and look at Spain, we’re doing better than them. What other moniker will he compare us to to say we are doing fine.

I digress: every day we hear stories of no people, no cars, no this. So in the end, the summary really is, the Gap needs to get in line as far as being given adequate police resources, and such resources will have to be shuffled on a reactive basis. Because if you cannot justify keeping a police presence somewhere which has low reported crime (although it is as a direct result of that presence) it is not going to remain there for long.
The only way in the end to manage such a huge task with the available resources is reactive. When there are enough resources to be pro-active, that story could change. Proactive is ideal but resource intensive.
Maybe they could let the army take over Government Guard and free the 20 or so officers there. Perhaps they could let island constables take over the point duties at the residences of the ‘important people’ who have personal police protection.

In the end it’s only the average middle class/lower class person affected by crime anyhow, so they really don’t have to do anything, because really they don’t care.

21 thoughts on “Militating Against Crime In Austere Times

  1. A country’s security, health and sanitation should be top priorities by any government. Budget cuts from these already under financed areas can be described as suicidal.

  2. Steupssss…
    Typical North American perspective…. does the POPULATION have any role in addressing crime? …or are we dumb asses who just sit around while the police protect us and our neighborhoods?
    Police need to send undercover agents to find out what is happening outside your window?
    You blind? Dumb? Or just stupid?

    North Americans are bred to be selfish …so they see no evil hear no evil and speak of no evil….they pay the cops to do that…. BUT INTELLIGENT PEOPLE NEED NOT FOLLOW THAT PATH.

    Now that the arrogant mock Cop is gone, perhaps we can find the common sense to take a new approach of CARING ABOUT OUR NEIGHBORHOODS and working WITH the police to deal with deviants from an early stage.

    There will NEVER be enough police to protect us – if we selfishly only mind our own business and call 911 for protection. BUT if we are our NEIGHBOR’s keepers and supporters…..

    @ David
    There are some DESPERATELY POOR societies where crime is unheard of….
    …and some awesomely rich one where it is endemic….


  3. @ David
    Our villages only disappeared because jack asses allowed themselves to be captivated by the trinkets of the North American greed monsters.
    Bushie’s village was SWEET AS SHOITE…..although we were all poor as church mice….
    Not a fellow could starve…although we all knew what hunger was…
    Criminal were rare…because from small EVERY ADULT in the village made it their business to mind your business….and to administer a cut-ass if needed.
    Education was valued….we went bare footed and often lunch-less…

    What do we have now?
    FEAR! Burglar Bars, security systems…..and we don’t even know the neighbor’s damn name….
    …while every little goon holds the neighborhood in terror and parros openly accost tourists in broad street…

    Great progress!

  4. Lemme tell wunna village life today ent like village life as Bushie describes. I live in a village where there are certain peoples feel dem own it. Dem does cuss me for cleaning and planting up my piece of land. I ketch one ah dem tiefing my plants early one morning. De same one I does share my fruits wid, de same one I uses to give a drop whenever ah see she by de bustop. De same one ah uses to stop and chat wid. Dem got anuuder one who was seen throwing wood and debris so that my mower will get damaged. Dem does complain dat the wacker does keep too much noise for about an hour or less when de man does come and clean by de roadside once every two weeks. Dem does complain dat my mower does mek noise when ah cutting de grass and I does be showing off pon muh mower cutting de grass. Dem does live across de road from me and dem still minding my business. Dem call de health inspector fuh muh because dem say I illegally dumping. Well de health inspector came and saw nothing except for a compost heap and tell me pay dem no mind. All dat pon my side pon my land. Wunna feel life in de village sweet nuh? I ent know wha BUSHIE TAWKING BOUT AT ALL! Wunna tink is dese trinkets from over an away like de wacker and mower is de cause of muh problems? Dese same bitches does only know how to beg , tief and tek up what is not theirs. Yuh tink dem know bout sharing?

    • The relevance of this piece addresses the problems in a St.Lawrence Gap for example which does not fit the classification of a village anyway.

  5. It would seem to me that Island Constables need to patrol the Gap, or the businesses there need to pool together to have private security to patrol the streets for when visitor are leaving their premises to go to other entertainment establishments, or their hotels.

  6. As an aside, let us look a bit at what is behind the wave of suicides recently. Am I the only one that cannot understand how someone can kill their self with a M16? That is so sad, I feel for his family!

  7. LOL @ Islandgal
    What men what?
    ….those mice were send yuh joke….dat is how some women operate… Bushie know a woman who used to tell her husband “IF you know what good for you…. yuh better go and tell her piece of MY mind yuh….!”
    LOL….the husband may be a mouse but he ain’t foolish…?

    …and you mind Checkit-out and want women to run Barbados?
    They would eat yuh raw girl….! 🙂

  8. Wasn’t the former COP a fixture in the media backed by reams of statistics advising one and all that crime was on the decrease? Perhaps harassment is not a crime and it looks like threats to do bodily harm are not viewed as criminal either.

    If Tourism is the lifeblood of the country surely the customers have to be treated with respect and courtesy (but that goes for any business), people tend to recall and recount negative experiences more readily than positive ones.

    @Bush T
    Surely a product of your times still yearning for yesteryear once more (this further explains why your kind of discipline lends itself to a parent landing a 2×4 across a recalcitrant child’s back). Always prone to generalization and exaggeration about “North America”, newsflash it is a continent which includes Canada, USA and Mexico.

    If village life was so great why did you abandon it? A little honesty would be appreciated.

  9. @ David | September 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM |

    You said and I quote “Well lit streets and more use of CCTV”

    Here is the blog master, promoting law and order, using the same technology that the Israeli fellows set up, and the policemen using to watch de bubbies of de young girls walking up and down Broad Street.

    It is shameful that such coherence and utility could be proposed by our blog master!!

    What is this country coming to?

    Next thing you will be recommending is that the expensive LIME backbone for transmitting the video feeds be replaced with affordable ADSL and wifi.

    This is why this country is where it is with people like you suggesting efficient use of resources and people. Anarchy and Sedition!! We gine send We Jonesing fuh you

    @ Islandgirl246

    Who is dis man you got cutting you grass, twice a month? I hope it ent Bush Tea!!

    And i is mighty concern dat dem is throwing wood in you grass.

    Tell me whey you live and i gine come up by you and hide in you grass and when dem come, whaplax, bull pistle in dem what you muh callit.

  10. Islandgirl done say ’bout t’ree years ago, memory serve, dat she don’ carry ’bout nah grass … Wunna don’ listen …

  11. Let island constables have a more visible role. And yes, I agree undercover stings are more effective to ridding the area of criminials. The criminals wouldnt ‘ply their trades’ if the see policemen/women around. On another note their was a case in the paper when a Bulgarian worker of a cruise ship bought drugs from a pusher. An island constable caught him and he was arrested. But I read nothing on the pusher ‘the source of the drugs’, being apprehended.

  12. Prodigal Son | September 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM |

    As an aside, let us look a bit at what is behind the wave of suicides recently. Am I the only one that cannot understand how someone can kill their self with a M16? That is so sad, I feel for his family!

    Don’t care how i try to wrap that around my head, don’t care how long this dude’s arms were, something does not seem right.

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