Hunt for Local Gary Griffith to Replace Tyrone Griffith

Like a recurring decimal crime it is one of the issues we have been unable to arrest. We scoffed at David Thompson’s 1999 political campaign slogan ‘crime and violence’, before that an Attorney General Maurice King assured a suspicious public there were no gangs in Barbados. Then there was the famous ‘me hands tied’ song made famous by lyrical master RPB referring to Commissioner of Police Orville Durant at the time. What has replaced PAREDOS? How can we forget the tinkering by the Police Services Commission by politicians? What about the moribund police Service Authority?

It has been reported Commissioner of Police (COP) Tyrone Griffith will be retiring very soon. The blogmaster shared the concerns of those who suggest a more visible COP was required in the last decade and maybe partly responsible for the predicament we find ourselves. The country is being punished with escalating violent crime with 100 murders recorded in the period 2018 to present.

Has the time come for an expat Commissioner of Police to be recruited? We have the experiences of Trinidad and Jamaica to reference. Canadians Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski were contracted in 2010 by the Trinidad government and after a brief stint were forced to tender resignations in 2012. There was Englishman Mark Shields who also served briefly in the role of deputy Commissioner of police in the Jamaica constabulary. He is remembered for his role in the mysterious death of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Wolmer.

Do we have a Gary Griffith personality type available in the Bajan recruitment pool? Barbados is a small island and makes the job of finding a Gary Griffith personality very difficult given the incestuous nature of relationships. The other question is whether a Gary Griffith type personality would be given sufficient room to operate in Barbados.

We are at the crossroads.

Political leaders from both sides have made political decisions that are coming back to haunt ordinary Barbadians. It is never too late to do the right thing. However, based on the blogmaster’s walk about underground we may have crossed the point of no return. The politicians are hapless how to pull crime back because like the coronavirus it has hopped from the underworld OUR world.

Enforcement is one element on meting out justice. For chrissakes let us TRY to get this appointment right with Tyrone Griffith’s replacement. There is credit at least in making the decision based on merit and not cronyism.

Watch the Police, Pow Pow

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.

Let me give you an example. The mother of this alleged case is now my patient and I don’t divulge any confidential information here; we would have spoken. If you have a child that’s missing, which happened in this case, we all know . . . she was picked up for wandering . . . .

She got information on where her daughter was when she went missing [and] called the police station: ‘Excuse me, sir, I think I know where my daughter is’. She [is told] hold on a minute.

Mr Speaker, I wish I could give you the words, but my mother never taught me to curse . . . . He put the phone on the side and said, ‘This **#!!* woman on the phone talking ’bout some !!**%%@#$%^ missing girl’.

She stressed that police officers must do better in such matters. You really have to investigate, apart from the school, complaints that reach the police stations and the response of the police officers. Too many people are dying.

MP knocks police response to report (Nation Newspaper)

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 Jeff Cumberbatch Column – The Guns of August

BU shares the Jeff Cumberbatch Barbados Advocate column – Senior Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies since 1983, a Columnist with the Barbados Advocate since 2000 and BU commenter – see full bio.

MUSINGS: The guns of August

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Emerging Crime Trend: Freedom of Movement Under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Needs to be Revised

Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith suggests there is a cultural factor behind recent domestic mu

Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith suggests there is a cultural factor behind recent domestic murders.

The revelation by the Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith that there appears to be a “cultural factor” which threads recent domestic abuse cases is interesting if not surprising. We have to give credit to the police force that they have a sound basis for reaching the conclusion that the cause behind some recent domestic disputes is linked to non nationals. Of course many Bajans will be compelled to intervene in the interest of demonstrating ‘balance’ by suggesting the obvious,  that is, Bajans are equally committing crime and therefore why blame non nationals. Of course non nationals cannot be blamed for all the crime BUT it does not mean we should play ostrich if there is a trend which has emerged which will add to our crime woes and wider societal challenges. Comprehension is a wonderful thing.

A few years ago when BU led the national discussion about possible sociological repercussions as a consequence of the unbridled immigration policy practiced by the former BLP government under the guise of freedom of movement, we were ridiculed by many. Why is it the ideologues like Peter Wickham, Rickey Sigh, BLP opportunists and others have refused to this day to appreciate that our fragile economies which are mainly service based, owning limited resources to protect borders, an possessing undermanned police forces means that any system which allows the unskilled and ignorant to move about freely across the Caribbean must be carefully ‘managed’? Instead they label such concerns by shouting xenophobia. Have we become do intellectually impotent not to understand that issues will emerge from having unchallenged freedom of movement?

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An Ex-Cop’s View of Darwin Dottin

Wade Gibbons

Wade Gibbons

The following was extracted from Wade Gibbons’ Facebook Page. He is a reporter for Barbados Today and is a former policeman.

Some excellent administrative and proactive moves by acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith. He is going to make a terrific leader of the RBPF, a position he should have held a long time ago.

The phones of innocent law-abiding Barbadians could not have been tapped by Dimwit Dottin without the knowledge and participation of some in the Special Branch which Dottin once headed. It was an ongoing criminal act by Dottin, deserving of imprisonment and not pension, and as such the hierarchy of that specialised department should have squealed on the thug and not be drawn into his criminality. No commissioner of police – an incompetent one at that – can compel a police officer to commit a crime.

If the force is to be purged of Dottin’s criminal presence, then of necessity some house-cleaning has to be done in departments such as the Special Branch. One transferred from that department is as close to me as a brother and I love him as such but wrong is wrong. Now that the Dottin cancer has been removed the organs of the body should gradually start to heal and return to a state of normalcy. Full praise to Commissioner Griffith. May God guide your every move.