The BU Murder Tracker confirms violent; gun crime has become endemic in our tiny society. The 40th murder occurred last Friday and it is possible with about 6 weeks to go in 2022 two more murders to surpass the 2020 number of 41 maybe reached. It is a stretch to suggest Barbados will ‘challenge’ the 48 murders recorded in 2019, the highest recorded in our history.
There is a resignation by the blogmaster that the Barbados leadership at the policy making AND non governmental level lack the nous to successfully implement effective monitoring, enforcement and social approaches to revert to a norm where a murder was big news on the island. One only has to reflect on our helplessness to stop the minibus culture that has taken root since the 80s, our inability to address concerns repeatedly raised by the Auditor General, a contentment to maintain landfills instead of executing an effective waste to management program, growing traffic congestion and lawlessness on the roads, the sloth to wean the country from fossil fuel consumption AND last but not least our burgeoning court system.
It seems several of the murders that have occurred were committed by individuals out on bail. Many Barbadians have asked why those ‘known to the law’ routinely receive bail from the courts. In simple terms, it cannot be assumed that a person with a criminal strike is automatically guilty. There is the presumption of innocence by the system of jurisprudence practiced. In 2019 Attorney General Dale Marshall attempted to amend the Bail Act to refuse bail to anyone facing a murder charge unless 24 months had been spent in custody. A case of a slow justice system forcing lawmakers to amend the law that was eventually and predictably deemed unconstitutional. Relevance of Newton’s 3rd law?
Where do we go from here?
It would seem that at a time unprecedented events are taking place in our country bold and equally unprecedented interventions must occur. Although Newton’s third law doesn’t apply to the man made predicament Barbados and many global societies are having to battle, we have reached a tipping point where there are unprecedented opposite reactions occurring to the inability of society, whether government, NGO and PEOPLE to manage an orderly society.
If it is possible at this late stage to win back our little country from the battle against ‘flesh and blood’ and the war against the ‘unseen’ then extreme measures will have to be aggressively taken from yesterday. We do not have the luxury of continuing to procrastinate and vacillate.
On the occasion of International Men’s Day the blogmaster listened and read the usual platitudes delivered by the usual talking heads and there was an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. We are going nowhere fast as it pertains the quality of society we have the responsibility to fashion for our children. We do not deserve to wear the label of being an intelligent people and be happy to figuratively and literally engage in revelry while BIM is burning.
The PEOPLE clamoured to reject the initiative to replace Independence Day with Barbados National Day. Could it be the PEOPLE will become equally outrage to demand and force a course correction with crime now at an endemic level?