Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Dale Marshall, fears the country could be reduced to shambles if the poor governance of every government department is not halted. And a glaring example of the problem was the politicisation of the Royal Barbados Police Force, he argued. Marshall levelled these charges at the Freundel Stuart administration last night while addressing a Barbados Labour Party mass meeting at the Prior Park Roundabout, St. James. In lauding the level of professionalism displayed by the force, the former Attorney General said: “The Royal Barbados Police Force has served this country admirably for many, many decades. As you look across the Caribbean you will see police forces having to bring in commissioners of police. In Trinidad and Tobago they brought in a commissioner of police from Alberta, Canada and a deputy from a different part of Canada. “In Jamaica, I believe they have had to bring members of the Jamaica Defence Force as commissioners of the police force. In other parts of the region you can see how the police forces have suffered because of nasty political interference.” The St. Joseph MP said many Barbadians would have believed that such a dark day would never befall Barbados. “We understand that a stable police force makes for a stable community. A stable police force makes for a stable nation,” Marshall stated.
The Queen’s Counsel recalled that following the 2008 general election and the BLP realised what was happening in the police force the party said this was not good enough for Barbados. He said the party’s stance was “look, target another government department to interfere with, but leave the
police force alone”. The attorney-at-law said: “If you interfere with a police force in a political fashion it will only destabilise the force and when you destabilise the force, Barbadians are unsafe in their beds at night and when they go about their business during the day.” He recalled that when the BLP formed the Government of the day, they gave police officers flexible time allowances, spent $10 million on cars and gave them new police stations, but that with the change of Government in 2008 everything came crashing down. Marshall said immediately following the 2008, tension grew between Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin and his deputy Bertie Hinds. He asserted that from the moment the government changed it was open season on Dottin and those people in the Royal Barbados Police Force who were reported or reputed to support the BLP. His view was that Barbados had some of the finest
policemen in the region and the current commissioner of police was also one of the finest in the world. Marshall claimed the Democratic Labour Party was out to destroy the force for purely partisan political gain. (NC)