The arrest of George Bennett, a former high ranking member of the Police Drug Squad now a practising lawyer once again confirms the whispers and rum shop talk. Although the traditional media delights in emblazoning the mugs of ‘little black boys’ on the front and court pages caught pushing drugs, commonsense supports a view that prominent, respected citizens are important links in the supply and distribution chain.
George Bennett is charged with possession, trafficking and intent to supply 253 kilograms of cannabis with a street value of 2 million, he appeared in the number 4 Supreme Court this week to apply for bail. Despite the bench strength of Bennett’s defence team which consisted of Andrew Pilgrim QC and Arthur Holder, bail was denied.
The blogmaster gives weight to the charge brought by the Royal Barbados Police Force considering the contraband was reportedly found at Bennett’s residence. His lawyers must be working overtime to discover a ‘technicality’ to earn a favourable ruling. Bennett’s relationship with the drug world probably started when he was a policeman and greed forced him to take the wrong path. The blogmaster is sure Bennett represents the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Then again there is the presumption of innocence, stop it!
The police force continues to report crime levels down although there is growing concern about the high murder rate in recent years. The truth is- in a small society a qualitative assessment must carry greater value compared to data driven conclusions. Thirteen murders for the year in tiny Barbados will impact the quality of our society more than if it were a bigger country. The level of lawlessness being witnessed in Barbados is symptomatic of a bigger problem of which members of law enforcement AND officers of the court are inextricably a part. The time has long passed to arrest the rot.
For every Bennett there are a few more to be found in Customs Department, Police Force, Immigration Department – you get the drift. To be fair to Commissioner Tyrone Griffith, he has mentioned repeatedly concerns about the quality of policing at ports of entry. We are fighting against wickedness in high places.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual wickedness in high places.Ephesians 6:12 KJV
The blogmaster hesitates to recommend a Rodrigo Duterte approach to arresting crime in Barbados, our docile disposition as a people and fit and proper system of governance would not permit it. However, a radical approach is always the preferred option if material change is the objective. Based on what is before us i.e. a former high ranking policeman now lawyer found with 253 kilos of cannabis at his home should be enough to support a conclusion the good guys are the bad guys.
It is important the process to recruit the next Commissioner of police to replace an invisible Tyrone Griffith is judiciously processed. The unfortunate predicament Barbados finds itself stems from the fact our decision makers are part of the problem.