The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) may soon be able to step up its efforts in policing the island’s air space.
Plans are on the way for the Force to acquire a state-of-the art drone to assist in its surveillance efforts.
Speaking at the Bridgetown Division Retirement Function at the Royal Barbados Police Force at Solidarity House last night, Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley assured officers that the allocation for this item should be available during the new financial year.
Lashley also revealed that Cabinet had recently given permission for an upgraded telecommunication system at a cost of $5.7 million, to better facilitate police communications internally and among other first responders.
He said the previous system purchased in 2004 was obsolete to the point that it was becoming difficult to source parts.
Lashley also noted that during 2014, the RBPF bought a high speed boat at the cost of $850 000 so as to increase capability in marine activities related to search and rescue operations, pursuit and boarding and touring of vessels. He said the purchase of the vessel was also intended to enhance the response to traversing the coastal waters of Barbados at relatively high speeds.
He pointed out that even in the current economic climate, Government still continued to provide the force with its renewed fleet of vehicles requested annually.
“Government recognizes its role in providing the necessary framework to permit the Royal Barbados Police Force to function effectively. And I want to assure you that you can count on our continued to support in your efforts to maintain the security of this country,” he said.
The Minister also pledged efforts to strengthen the Force’s intelligence sharing efforts. He said as crime becomes more sophisticated, it was necessary for law enforcement to develop the skills and abilities and to be proactive and to respond effectively.
“Policing has become a highly subsidized discipline, which must be able to address from the most simplest of crimes to the most complex of illegal enterprises which may originate in cyber space and involve international players,” Lashley stressed.
“While we continue to place these major demands on the police, Government recognizes that there must be an enabling environment to promote the successes being demanded.”
Lashley remarked that Barbados with its emphasis on tourism and international business services, has been able to maintain a reputation for safety and freeness of movement, which must attributed to a large extent, to the sturdy efforts of the police.
However, he noted that it must not be ignored that there were disturbing trends that have emerged over recent years, making it essential for officers to be on a heightened alert to detect contraband which might be lingering on the borders or are being directed to domestic sources.
“As we all know, the activity generated by the flow of contraband fuels violence and creates an additional dimension to be addressed by law enforcement officers. I am therefore happy to state that members of the Royal Barbados Police Force have been the beneficiaries of training in wide ranging areas which have built their capacity to respond to the changing or more demanding environment.
“Training has been offered through regional and international partners and these initiatives have served to sharpen the skills of our police to the extent that they are able to record major successes in investigations and resolving crimes,” he said. (AH)