Public reaction to recent revelations at the Government Information School (GIS) – Pressure Mounts on Minister Wilfred Abrahams to Resign – continues to be a source of concern for Barbadians. All eyes now are on Minister Wilfred Abrahams and his newly installed Board presided over by Apostle Dr, Lucille Baird. It is the hope of the blogmaster a priority task of the Baird led Board will be to meet with outgoing Board members and in particular the former deputy Chair Marsha Hinds-Layne. Many Barbadians are of the view- and rightly so- Hinds should have been retained on the new Board if its selection was meant to be resident centric. It would have added needed credibility to the process Minister Abrahams is attempting to sell the public.
A sub story from the GIS affair that should be receiving equal attention is the matter highlighted by Member of Parliament Sonia Browne in a contribution to the House of Assembly last week. Key duties of any police force is to maintain public order and safety, enforce the law among other responsibilities. We cannot have members of the public turning to the police for assistance and it evokes such an insensitive response. The success of a police force is dependent on cultivating a good relationship with the public it is paid by and sworn to serve. The blogmaster wants to give the benefit of the doubt to the Barbados Police Force in this case but it is a challenge given what we know.
In the same way Minister Wilfred Abrahams was forced to face the music to placate an angry public, Attorney General Dale Marshall should be made to explain the behaviour by the policeman who handled the call from the juvenile’s mother reported by MP Sonia Browne.
The blogmaster has posted several blogs about the dysfunctional, moribund Police Complaints Authority (PCA) since its establishment by exposing the failure to deliver on its mandate. Successive governments have been unable to remedy the situation.
A growing lack of trust by the public in the police force is likely driven by the inability of the Attorney General and the PCA to encourage and process public complaints in a transparent and efficient manner. We MUST hold the police force accountable given its important role as guardians of the state. Our approach to reforming the system must be holistic to achieve service quality. If we do not many young people will be consumed and enarmoured by thug life with citizens continuimg to cry – arm the police pow pow.
“The staff of the Police Complaints Authority comprised an Investigator, an Administrative Officer II and a Clerk/Typist. During the year under review the Administrative Officer II was transferred to the Ministry of Social Care and Constituency Empowerment and Community Development and was replaced by an Administrative Officer II (ag)” – 2016 Police Complaints Authority Report
An interesting statistic to know is how many Barbadians read the 2016 Annual Report of the Police Complaints Authority. It is a 12 page report that includes 8 pages of ‘fluff’. The substance of the report is that Barbadians prefer to lodge complaints directly with the police department and the few complaints handled by the PCA were referred to the police department.
Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite instead of wasting taxpayers resources by receiving a useless resolution from his party to pursue Mia Mottley’s standing to practice law in Barbados, he should instruct the police department to reroute all complaints to the PCA and contract the Government Information Service and the fourth estate to educate the general public as to its role. Of course this would mean beefing up the resources at the PCA, the same lament from Auditor General Leigh Trotman.
Another useless report laid in parliament. Another useless watchdog agency!