Internet Town Hall on Crime & Violence – All Are Invited

With the tranquil landscape of Barbados being routinely disturbed by a culture of gun violence an unprecedented murder rate.  Civil society is being encouraged to frankly discuss short term and long term measures to implement to arrest the trending. BU commenter Greene posted the following measures (with minor edits by the blogmaster) to kickoff Barbados Underground Internet Town Hall on Crime & ViolenceHow to Arrest it NOW.

David, Barbados Underground


Short term measures

  1. Come right out and tell Bajans that the young men in some areas are murderers and are terrorising BIM by killing one another and if they continue so the Govt will have to invite people in BIM to take their place in BIM.
  2. Tell them that the illegal drug trade and reprisals are responsible for murders. that the guns are coming through the Port and that any government officials including but not limited to politicians, police and customs involved and caught will be punished severely. Change the official corruption laws to suit.
  3. Tell mothers and women by accepting drug money and turning a blind eye to the activities of their sons and boyfriends that they part of the problem.
  4. Enforce or implement Money Laundering and asset forfeiture Laws
  5. Second half the Defence Force to the police as patrol units in hot spot with a view to engage and challenge suspected drug and gun men/dealers based on intelligence in the first place and observation when they are in the area.
  6. Actually engage and if fired upon shoot to kill taking into consideration threats to their own lives and dangers posed to others in the area.
  7. Speedy Trials
  8. Look to pop some necks even if it means changing the laws.
  9. Discuss openly about what is causing the problems and solicit solutions.
  10. Seek a truce between warring factions with a forum where where they can confront each other in a neutral setting (do not know if this is possible).
  11. Look at witnesses protection with a view to sending those who qualify to other participatory islands/ countries.
  12. Provide and lease farm land to young men and women who say they have nothing to do.
  13. Teach civics from primary school with an established set of ideals that we expect from Bajans.

And I would say all this to the public.

Long term

  1. Look to change the school system to make it more hands on for boys with more technical subjects.
  2. Revert to single sex schools
  3. Provide counselling or more counselling for troubled youths and parents with early intervention programmes.
  4. Improve the lot of the police by paying them more and making the service more attractive. If the Government says they have no money they can exempt police, fire and prisons (emergency services) from income taxes and provide free health care at any private facility.
  5. Disband the Defence Force and recruit those who want to and are qualified into the police, fire service and prisons.
  6. Change corruption and other associated laws.
  7. Make marijuana legal for anyone over 18.
  8. Decriminalize other hard drugs treating them as a health issue and not a legal issue.
  9. Alter all the above from time to time to suit the changing circumstances.
  10. Look to improve the long term economic and employment situation.

203 comments

  • Plse read the below sreport from Barbados Today to see how political propaganda gradually forms part of the discursive narrative and to oppose it one become a demon.
    In the 1970s the nonsense of victimology emerged out of the United States and spread around the world like a virus. It had no internal logic and fitted in with the dominant received wisdoms of the times. Recently I heard the commissioner of police talking about victimology, no doubt something he heard on some training course.
    Under our legal system, people who make allegations of being victims of crime are not victims, they are COMPLAINANTS. Police must investigate those allegations objectively, not as advocates of the so-called victims, but as stewards of justice. There reports then go to the prosecuting authorities who then decide if there is a 50+ chance of conviction beyond all reasonable doubt.
    It is only on conviction that the complainant becomes a victim. The attorney general must drive home this truth.

    As local and regional law enforcement push towards improving their skills in investigating sexual offences, the head of one women’s organization says that handling of crimes of this nature against the LGBTQ community must be part of the discourse.
    This afternoon president of the Business and Professional Woman’s Club of Barbados Nicole Alleyne pointed out that victims of sex crimes were sometimes re-victimized by the manner in which their matter was handled and that this consideration must be extended to persons of different sexual orientation.

    Nicole Alleyne
    Delivering the feature remarks at the closing ceremony of a 14-day sexual offences investigation course, held at the Regional Police Training Center, Alleyne urged the participants which comprised of law enforcement officers from across the region, to put aside what ever biases they may have and rely solely on their training when handling these sensitive matters.
    “You must now return and put into practice the tools and skills that you discussed at length with passion during your sessions, by doing this we will discontinue the disparities and marginalizing of individuals because of their sexual orientation or because of our own biases and beliefs. We cannot continue to give the same care that you gave before coming to this course, you now have fresh eyes, fresh lenses, a new standpoint, to empower and to ensure that the survivor is more confident than when they arrived,” said Alleyne.
    She further noted: “If you had the opportunity to watch the Democratic debates [in the United States] last night you would have noticed that much discussion was centered around the LGBTQ community, and that there is great concern for marginalized groups. Let this marginalization and re-victimization no longer be named among us as we execute our duty to serve and protect and to do no harm.”
    She urged lawmen to first do a self-assessment to determine what their biases were and in so doing, do what is necessary to resolve them.
    “If we are going to be excellent first responders we must first perform a self-assessment to ensure that we are not being biased or that any unresolved or misplaced feelings towards the survivor emerges, that our world view and beliefs do not drown out what is in front of you – the evidence or the survivor. This is extremely important in our delivery of service, the moment the survivor recognises our personal bias is the moment that we have lost precious information and time,” she explained.
    Alleyne added: “Let’s not continue to waste time. Now to the assessment, your self-awareness makes the process of the investigation run smoothly, you can now assess the situation and information provided more accurately and with clarity.”(Quote)

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  • A High Court judge has called for victims to be more involved in Barbados’ criminal justice system.
    This suggestion has come from Justice Randall Worrell, who has contended that victims are not always treated fairly.
    He said there may be the need for the establishment of a victims’ Injuries Compensation Board, as well as witness protection in some cases.
    Justice Worrell made the comments while speaking at the launch last night of Kim Ramsay’s latest book Murders That Shocked Barbados at the Supreme Court.
    “Even now we still have to do better. We don’t only have to do better in relation to crime solving, problem solving, we also have to do better in relation to victims…the relatives of those people, we have to think about those persons who Kim calls co-victims and who we see everyday,” he said.
    “The question is what are we really doing for them? Where is our victims’ injuries compensation board? Of course you’re not going to get that in relation to murder, but if you start somewhere and you involve co-victims in the process, I think it may be easier to explain to them at a later stage why a particular person has not been caught and they might also be able to emphatize with the Royal Barbados Police Force and say, ‘We understand the reason, we understand the situation’.”
    The judge said there had also been occasions when victims and their families were not made aware of what was going on in their cases.
    He lamented that some victims sometimes only found out about what was going on through the media.
    “It is also about our criminal justice system and how we treat accused persons, more importantly how do we treat the victims and why do we not bring them more into the criminal justice system so that they know when the case is called and what is happening.
    “Some of them you will see in the newspaper saying, ‘I only know about this after I see the man get sentenced’,” Justice Worrell said.
    He also spoke about the recent trend where a lack of assistance from communities was preventing police from apprehending criminals.
    The judge recalled that during murderer Lester ‘Toffee’ Harewood’s year-long run from the law, police were continually being fed information related to his location.
    “Whereas the public at that time was willing to assist the police at every juncture, remember it took a year for Toffee to be caught, but at every sighting the public fed information to the Royal Barbados Police Force.
    Justice Worrell suggested that with a growing reluctance among witnesses to come forward, Government may have to consider the introduction of witness protection.
    Meanwhile, Acting Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce urged persons who had any information related to crimes to come forward.
    “If you see something, say something,” Boyce encouraged.
    The senior cop explained that police investigations were difficult and cooperation at the community level was critical if police were to be successful in solving crimes.(Quote)

    There is everything criminologically wrong with this claim. First complainants are not victims until the accused has been convicted. Second, it is not the duty of the courts, prosecution authorities or the police to side with the so-called victims.
    Their role is when an allegation is made to investigate it thoroughly and objectively, then prosecute if there is a prima facie case, one in which there is a likelihood of conviction beyond reasonable doubt, and then for the court to hear the evidence and convict or acquit.
    As to sentencing, that is the role of the state. Victims want revenge and justice cannot be about revenge, that is whey we have sentencing theory and impartial judges. Victimology is a bogus American theory..
    What this good judge has shown, however, is the need for proper training for our court officers, including senior judges. A law degree does not make one a criminologist, nor indeed does a criminology degree.

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  • Sometime ago I raised the issue of separating uniformed police officers from detectives and establishing detectives as a separate agency – preferably a CARICOM-wide detective agency.
    Of course, there is nothing new about that suggestion. I see Scotland Yard, one of the leading detective agencies in the world, is now considering directly recruiting detectives ie without any uniformed experience. How about making it a graduate occupation?
    Maybe the president and her attorney genera, Dale Marshall, may now think of doing something radical and look at the structure of the police force.

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