One week after three masked gunmen dressed in black sprayed several houses in Denton Road, Grazettes, St Michael with bullets from high-powered guns, police officers attached to the District “A” Police Station visited the area this afternoon to reassure residents that their safety remains a priority of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).
Around 4:30 this afternoon Inspector David Lewis and Station Sergeant O’Neal Small headed a team of lawmen from the District “A” Police Station on a tour of the area, interacting with several members of the community with a view to establishing a neighbourhood watch.
Speaking to a team from Barbados TODAY at the conclusion of the tour Lewis said the visit was meant to “feel the pulse” of the community and to “partner with residents” in a bid to improve safety.
“We are here to meet and greet the residents of this community. District “A” covers a wide area in the St Michael parish and therefore we are hoping to strengthen the communities by advising them on security matters. We are hoping to establish a neighbourhood watch in the community with the help of residents. We need to feel the pulse of the community and find out what are their concerns. We must partner with residents if we hope to provide a safer community,” Lewis said.
In discussing the rationale for the walk-through, Station Sergeant Small stressed it ought not be interpreted to mean the areas was a hot spot for crime. Instead, he said, the visit was meant to improve relations between the police and the community and to ensure that “one or two issues” which developed recently did not get out of hand.
“No, we do not want to call Denton Road, Grazettes, a hot-spot. We want to say that we visited the area to help address some of the issues that have been occurring recently. This area had one or two issues recently and we do not want to see matters get out of hand. We are here on this occasion hoping to partner with persons in the community with a view of forming a neighbourhood watch and improving police/ community relations and looking to develop cohesive communities. We believe that conflicts can be resolved in the community if persons are thinking positively. The bottom line is trying to see if we can partner with the residents,” Small told Barbados TODAY.
He disclosed that members of District “A” Police Station have been visiting other areas to see if they could foster relationships with the residents.
After completing the walk-through Small expressed the hope that members of the RBPF would hold the first meeting with residents on Saturday at the Grazettes Community Centre to discuss the neighbourhood watch programme.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Barbados TODAY one concerned female resident said Denton Road becomes a ghost town after nightfall since last week’s shooting.
The mother of a four-year-old and a six-year-old explained that just after 9 p.m. last Monday night, three masked gunmen walked in the district and sprayed several homes with bullets for no apparent reason.
“They came from the northern section of Denton Road near the Grazettes Industrial Park and walked casually through the district spraying bullets. I just could not believe what I was seeing. Young children and toddlers were playing in front of the houses and these masked men just fired off shots. You can still see the bullet holes in the guard walls of the houses. As many as 20 spent shells were retrieved when the shooting stopped. Innocent children could have been killed by these lawless individuals,” she complained.
Two people sustained gunshot wounds and are at present in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital awaiting surgery, she said.