Why Cameras Should NOT be Focused on Customs Officers

Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite

Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite

The Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is on public record agreeing to the installation of cameras in areas ‘worked’ by Customs Officers. As the minister responsible for advising the government on legal matters it is noteworthy laws do not currently […]exist to support the use of recordings in our Courts.

This is called politicians blowing hot air through the nether regions.

On the face of the issue commonsense suggest the deployment of  CCTV to monitor the interactions of Customs Officers with the public is the correct approach. However, there is the other view  to support why cameras should not be focussed on Customs Officers when conducting business with the public, especially importers. Here is an extract from the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (Article 1 — 24).

Article 10

All information which is by nature confidential or which is provided on a confidential basis for the purposes of customs valuation shall be treated as strictly confidential by the authorities concerned who shall not disclose it without the specific permission of the person or government providing such information, except to the extent that it may be required to be disclosed in the context of judicial proceedings.

The admission just this week by the Attorney General runs counter to the above, a perspective worthy of consideration at a time when subversive elements have taken deep root in our small country.


95 Comments on “Why Cameras Should NOT be Focused on Customs Officers”

  1. Prodigal Son August 30, 2015 at 12:06 PM #

    @ David and Artaxerxes

    Do you remember that some time ago the DLP launch a radio station? What ever happen to that? Oh ok, they have DLPTV and the radio station to spew their garbage.

    It is a burning shame that the aforementioned morons would not use that medium to pout their DLP rhetoric to their ilk but would continue to bombard BU with their garbage.

    This tells you that the DLP operatives have an agenda………..no matter how far the country is sinking, the DLP is to be paramount.

    Do like me, scroll pass their comments and vote them down!


  2. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right August 30, 2015 at 12:06 PM #

    Jadan King and shamar Weekes

    What do these two children recently lost in incidents of purported and proven child abuse have to do with this Customs Officer Issue and Cameras?

    We are a people who love to deal with issues after the fact, after the loss of life, after the abuse of privileges, after the $5M disappears to your mother’s bank account, bless her recently departed soul, and may GOD have mercy on yours


    Customs officers are one of the last defence mechanisms against contraband and other undesirable contents for a 166 sq mile country.

    It would be a stupid man or woman to say that we do not need customs officers. So we agree that their jobs are needed.

    Let us now reason together.

    What is the issue at contention is not that there should not be cameras either because it is agreed that (i) it is a prerequisite of Customs work by all countries (ii) it records what transpired during an examination of containers/luggage/crates and (iii) it records who interacts with the various packages and other sensitive contents like peoples personal shipped items.

    We all agree that there are bad apples in any, and many a bunch, and we therefore can understand that, barring having a policeman permanently on duty watching those who guard, then cameras will allow us to be more efficient with our times.

    One night I was in de airport when Ms. Ram came through with 18 bags on a flight from Murica. One uh de sons did sen fun me en de madam tuh come tuh ** fuh a visit.

    Ms Ram had so many bags that it too 4 red caps to carry them out the airport where a big van met her to transport them wherever.

    I was there when the Customs man asked her “anything to declare” she answered “no” and he stamped her blue customs card and she walked out the arrivals lounge with 4 black menses in tow.

    The point is that that customs officer like the Gollop fellow at the airport, was tiefing from the government coffers.

    If a camera was there at least, while it was still possible that the officers who were monitoring the checkpoints, and the customs officers and the persons checking the surveillance tapes could all be in cahoots, at least if they were not, and it was 10 bags of cocaine being shipped in, someone would have seen the shipment.

    Cswell Franklyn is not saying that there should not be cameras to capture all of this activity, he is just saying that outsourcing that function to the Manager of the City of Bridgetown Credit Union, to call a name just to be facetious, does not make sense.

    When I as de outside monitoring agency know who wukking pun de 10.30 shift from Murica pun a Wednesday, and kin tell lord Evil or dat fellow wid 15 empty restaurants dat nuhbody doan really eat at, but seem tuh be a cover fuh illegal gains, when I kin tell dem fellows who does be in de airport or transit shed when my luggage or baggage coming thru causing I, even doah i ent no customs officer, got access to dat info, den it is evident dat I planning tuh smuggle in tings dem, by way of this inside information.

    Oh by de way, de Petition to Ban ** & ** back up pun my facebook page “Of Dondeys and A(s)Sies, we only gots to get 10,000 signatures by concerned BU-ians and it all ovah fuh Hee Haw and de next Brayer. (we still doan know how de alter ego fellow dat got sense gine be able to post doah, de committee still meeting..)


  3. King Solomon August 30, 2015 at 12:20 PM #

    Cameras have revealed much in recent times and none more important than the blatant disregard for the lives of some young men. Cameras cannot harm honest people and Barbados cannot afford dishonest people. Cameras should also be placed in classrooms.


  4. Pat August 30, 2015 at 12:46 PM #

    This camera in Customs business came up before many years ago under Leroy’s tenure. He said at the time that he was not against cameras, but he had some conditions that had to be met before the Union approved. I spoke to him personally, and he agreed with me that cameras could also protect the staff from malicious clients. I, after all these years was under the impression that there were cameras at the Port, at least. I told my late departed mother and others that they don’t have to lock their barrels as there were cameras there. I have sent barrels to my great aunt without locks or tape as well. Nothing was taken.

    What boggles my mind is why the government backed down re the cameras. Was Sir Roy talking through both corners of his mouth?


  5. David August 30, 2015 at 1:04 PM #

    To echo earlier points made, majority view is not against cameras, it is the outsourcing of the recordings and supervision of the surveillance. Not sure how many times this needs to be repeated.


  6. King Solomon August 30, 2015 at 1:37 PM #

    Why Cameras Should NOT be Focused on Customs Officers…


  7. Dompey August 30, 2015 at 2:06 PM #


    The government of Barbados is ahead of the game because practically everything in this country is outsourced.

    Take for example the transit system in the state of Connecticut, which is outsouced by the state government to several private bus companies, but the state still oversight with the rules and regulations.

    Piece, it is more economical for the state government because for one: the drivers aren’t state employees, so their are not entitled the expensive pension package etc. So what is wrong with outsourcing camera surveillance to a private entity in Barbados. The DLP government is far a head of the game, but we have asshole like Caswell Franklyn trying to insult the collective psyche of a nation with an argument which appeals to ignorance.


  8. David August 30, 2015 at 2:13 PM #

    @King Solomon

    The other side of the debate suggest Barbados is a small (2×3) country, every body is a brother, sister, cousin etc and the need to shield information takes on greater importance than in the bigger countries with bigger geographies and a more impersonal setup. It is a point which has merit knowing how Barbados operates. Even the AG admitted last week the Customers Officers have a point on the outsourcing of the supervision of surveillance of the workspace of Customers Officers. In law Customer Officers are responsible for border protection, only them.


  9. Dompey August 30, 2015 at 3:16 PM #


    This is an accurate account of a story which occurred quite a few years ago: I took a friend of mine to the US Immegration to see about her citizenship, and it so happened that the guard and I started talking casually, and something prompted me to ask him if the federal government paid him well? And to my surprise he said to me that:” He wasn’t a federal employee, and that the security company he was employed by contracted with federal government to performed the security for the federal entity where he was employed.”

    And yet this private security company was charged with manning the camera-surveillance at this federal establishment. So Caswell, why would there be a problem if the same course is followed in Barbados?

    What some people have fail to comprehend is the fact that even though the federal or state governments outsources these jobs, the employees are still subject to some of the same legal sanctions as the regular federal or state employee.

    So I would assume that even those the government of Barbados outsource this job to a private entity, that this private entity must operate within the prescribed guidelines, or else it will be subject to legal sanctions.

    So I do not see how by employing a private entity to man surveillance at Customs in Barbados would in any way compromised or impede upon he constitutional rights of an employ? When such camera surveillance can address some of the improprieties in that working environment.


  10. de Ingrunt Word August 30, 2015 at 3:21 PM #

    David, man that is perfectly proportioned @ 2X3. A lovely 14×21 island, is right! LOL.

    On more serious matters though, Dominica get lick up bad.

    Bout dey in US a lot of talk surrounds the anniversary of the whopper that was Katrina and the damage it did in New Orleans; seems as if Erika is that type of devastation on our little neighbour.

    We sure know how lucky we are not be digging out from that hammering.


  11. Dompey August 30, 2015 at 3:23 PM #

    And by the way we have camera-surveillance on the schools buses,city buses and trains etc.


  12. Bush Tea August 30, 2015 at 3:49 PM #

    @ Pat
    What boggles my mind is why the government backed down re the cameras. Was Sir Roy talking through both corners of his mouth?
    No Pat. …Nothing to do with the Duke…

    A few of the ministers worked out that after cameras were installed in Customs …and everybody saw how much things improved, some brass bowl idiot would then call for cameras to be placed in government offices; in contract meetings; in the Central bank vault (were a few million went missing some time ago); and in the damn Treasury – where there is MASSIVE leakage as we speak…

    …best to blame the Customs people …and nip this thing in the bud before things get out of hand 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. David August 30, 2015 at 3:57 PM #

    @Dee Word

    Yes Dominica was struck by a hurricane yet again. It makes you wonder why them and not us. Maybe it would knock the ignorant smug expressions from our faces. In Barbados we have 10 or 20 organizations establishing relief funds. Commonsense suggest this is an opportunity to collapse as one for a worthy cause. No, we have to go for the PR.


  14. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right August 30, 2015 at 4:24 PM #

    Listen to me Dufus..

    Having a man guard who is a private contractor working at an office IS NOT THE SAME as hiring that private contractor as a CIA or FBI agent CAN YOU GET THAT THROUGH YOUR THICK HEAD?


    That was a classic experiment of “hiring private sector employees to do the job that the military should do, gone wrong!!

    THere are certain jobs that are central to national SECURITY THAT YOU CANNOT OUTSOURCE.

    Let me break it down for you in language that you can understand, because it seems that only by using crudeness will break common sense break through into your ROCK STONE BRAIN.

    You have children right?

    Imagine that on the night you got married to your wife (bless her soul) that, you in your normal exemplary brilliance decided that, in order for you to to secure progeny, that you were going to assign that task to the gardener, or to one of the neighbours who pulled you out of the fire in C******.

    Now I want you to stick with me here.

    The outcome, as long as the neighbour and/or the gardener were not impotent or sterile and that your wife was fertile and receptive would be the same as if you did the task, would it not?

    Why then did you not outsource that task of, as the Bajans say, breeding you wife”? Some might be inclined to say that it might have meant that the donkey gene would have ended with you but I am not going to encourage that type of thinking and cry shame on them all.

    Notwithstanding Dufus, that is the point that Caswell Franklyn has been saying to you and other readers of this submission.

    THERE ARE SOME FUNCTIONS THAT YOU DO NOT OUTSOURCE LEST YOU DILUTE THE GENE AND, in addtion to “muh fadder ent muh fadder but muh fadder ent know, CRETINS ARE THE OFFSPRING!!


    Good. now I can cancel the AA plane ticket that I paid for Mr. Sealy from St Leonards School now at the Nation to come to C********* with the special plaited DOG Hunter and to beat you within an inch of your life, AGAIN, with the hope that a little light would go off in your head you would not revert to this topic again with such simplistic reasoning.


  15. de Ingrunt Word August 30, 2015 at 4:32 PM #

    Mr Dompey, at last count earlier when I was here I believe Artax had you pegged at 29 posts, so I presume you are about 35 now out of about 75+. Oh lawd.

    Artax’s point was that you were being a humbug who brought no substance to the debate yet you posted almost 50% of the thread. He called you a ‘haraam’.

    So oh sinful one who is so wrought with his imprecise view how can you continue to compare the large US Fed Gov’t use of private security in the ‘office’ environment of p’port processing to the border control aspects in what David accurately call a 2X3 island?

    Didn’t the US also employ the BlackWater private soldiers to fight and provide security in Iraq and beyond. Do you contemplate that is a ‘outsourcing’ practice that would work in a small country too?

    There are some processes that are not ideal for small governments and in this matter your POV is not shared by the majority here. It is clearly understood though. Do you even understand the opposing views.

    This cam matter is really a minor point to elicit your repeated noise.

    Good gracious, ease up guy!


  16. David August 30, 2015 at 4:36 PM #

    This is why we told him not to contextualized solutions in a 70s landscape. It is clear some on BU are intent on playing the man and not the ball.



  17. ac August 30, 2015 at 5:38 PM #

    What You (David) and Caswell fails to realize that both of your positions is contrary and confrontational to the Rule of good governance. Your Positions be that of opposing how the cameras should be placed and who should be allowed to carry out the surveillance short circuits the very purpose and full functioning of the surveillance objective.
    Furthermore what is there not to prevent another dissenting opinion by other govt employees supported by Unions one similar in nature to apply the same strategy with an opposing view if and when another govt office needs tightened security.
    isn’t the Job of govt to regulate all necessary functionalities that would secure a safe environment or is it the role of employees and Unions to oversee the functioning roles pertaining to the Nations security?
    Isn;t it a Constitutional Right duty bound that all matters involving the national security of a country must be maintained and controlled by govt
    It therefore boggles the mind that A Union any Union would step into an area of National security to breach a Constitutional Right which gives the government the right to controll and take measures of protection if and when the National security of a nation is threatened.
    For the Union to leapfrog over the Constitution as if it doesn’t matter to issue dictates or directives in the best interest of the employee against the rule of law truly boggles the mind


  18. Artaxerxes August 30, 2015 at 10:20 PM #

    de Ingrunt Word August 30, 2015 at 4:32 PM #

    “Mr Dompey, at last count earlier when I was here I believe Artax had you pegged at 29 posts, so I presume you are about 35 now out of about 75+. Oh lawd. Artax’s point was that you were being a humbug who brought no substance to the debate yet you posted almost 50% of the thread. He called you a ‘haraam’.”

    De Word, “Haraam is Arabic for “donkey.”


  19. Dompey August 30, 2015 at 11:44 PM #

    De Ingrunt

    I gine tah bed but I gine left yah a little something for you to chew on: I know you have heard it said that you can prove anything with Theory and Statistics. Now good night and try and find another punching boy because I am not the one. You know I come back punching like Iron Mike Tyson.

    De Ingrunt

    Have you ever been out of Barbados? How would know what is or what isn’t suitable or what would or would not work for a small island, when you haven’t even been to St.John in Barbados?

    It take more than writing a load bullshit day in day out on BU to understanding what ought and ought working in a small island.
    It take a practical experience to know what would work for a small island and not the load crasp you call theory that you continually spew on BU daily.

    Nevertheless, you have the audacity, the temerity, and unmitigated-gall to insult my intelligent with your know it all attitude by asking if I understand what is meant by an opposing viewpoint. Yes Ignorant I do!

    Last night I said that you command an impeccable writing skill, but I never said that your were smart.

    There is a distinctive as well as polar difference between being able to articulate and being smart and unfortunately you do not meet the latter criterion.


    Oh Lord! I just got off of utube and came back to BU and find Barbados most funniest comedian trying to be funny. Boss, stay in school as long as their would let you because you would drop dead from hunger, if you had to support yourself by meking people laugh.


  20. Commander in Chief aka -Prankster the Mankster eating Mangoes sunnyside up and egging off while Alfing around to the Max September 3, 2015 at 12:44 PM #

    I have not yet spoken on this matter. Nobody called me for a comment. Just want to add though that Bajans pontificate on things of which they know little or nothing. We have to curtail the tendency to be ‘influential’ by trying to prove that we know. This approach is destroying the Country. Each one teach one. None is bigger/ more powerful than the other.


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