Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, is calling on the United States and Canada, the Caribbean’s richer North American neighbours, to assist cash-strapped regional countries with the acquisition of equipment to boost their crime-fighting capability.
The Government’s chief legal advisor made the call today, in a feature address to the closing ceremony for a hostage negotiation course at the Regional Security System Training Institute, as he expressed grave concern about the level of criminal activity in the region.
Brathwaite suggested that policy-makers do an examination to see if criminal activity which involves the use of fireams is co-ordinated across the region.
Noting that the world has become a global village with rapid means of communication by land, sea and air, Brathwaite contended that the “uninformed” may question the rationale behind holding a seminar on hostages in a region that is generally seen as far removed from the hot-spots of the world.
“The world of terrorism is coming closer to the region,” Brathwaite pointed out. “The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago disclosed recently that 50 Trinidadian nationals had travelled to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS. What happens when these fighters return to the region?”
“Barbados and the region still depend heavily on tourism to maintain our standard of living,” he continued. “We need co-operation and must share information with other members of the Caribbean region. You, the participants of this seminar, are no longer personnel of your respective countries, but part of a Regional Security System. We cannot do it alone.”
The Attorney General recalled that while doing research on the topic of hostage taking, he discovered that the emphasis was more on managing a crisis situation since any of the 17 participants in the course could face a crisis if one of their colleagues attempted suicide either while at work or at home.
Welcoming the training programme at this time, Deputy Executive Director of the RSS, Bertie Hinds, said the world was no longer a safe place with the presence of ISIS, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. He noted that without benefiting from this kind of training offered by officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, members of the Royal Barbados Force Police were confronted with a case some years ago where one of its members had climbed to the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and threatened to throw himself to the ground.
Hinds, who rose to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police in Barbados, also cited the case where under the presidency of Jimmy Carter, hostages were held in the American Embassy in Iran for an extended period after the downfall of the Shah in the late 1970s.