Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has called for fairness and transparency within the Royal Barbados Police Force during the decision-making process on promotions.
Brathwaite told an awards ceremony for the Northern Division at the weekend that when he took up office, there was much contention over the issue of a lack of fairness on promotions.
“I’ve been working with two police commissioners over the last couple of years and I’ve said to them, ‘we must ensure that there’s as much transparency as possible with respect to promotions’,” he said.
Brathwaite told police officers that there also have been several queries as to whether qualified officers should be given priority over unqualified colleagues, but he noted that while complaints were expected “from time to time”, all officers who apply should be given a fair chance of advancing within the system.
“Because, as you all know, every officer wants to be promoted. It means a difference not only in terms of their individual aspirations, but usually it signals also an increase in remuneration and that’s why many of them work as hard as they do,” he said.
The Attorney General said Government was working with its international partners to increase access to training for officers, in light of the increasingly sophisticated criminal activity.
“We recognize and appreciate that with the changing crime situation and in particular with the whole issue of cybercrime we need to ensure that our officers are on the cutting edge of training.”
Brathwaite had high praise for the Force for its work in containing crime levels in recent years. He pointed specifically to the Drug Squad which, he said, had contributed to a significant increase in drug-related charges.
“The fact is that this country has not been overrun by crime over the last couple years… Statistically, we’ve had last year a 13 or 14 per cent increase. But much of the [containment] has had to do with the hard work and dedication of certain departments and I single out the Drug Squad as one. When one looks at the number of charges, the number of interceptions etc. I think it was probably about a 300 per cent [increase] from 2014,” Brathwaite said.