Business owners in Baxter’s Road, The City have said they were uneasy following this week’s violent death of one of their own.
The unexpected demise of Colin Forde, the proprietor of Colin’s Sports Bar and Lounge, who was gunned down at his place of business on Tuesday night, has left operators fearful and in a state of shock.
Police are searching for two assailants believed to be responsible for the death of the 50-year-old 10th Avenue, New Orleans, St Michael businessman.
In the wake of the tragedy operators are calling for stepped up police patrols in the popular liming spot, especially at nights.
However, the unease is such that some proprietors said they were not prepared to put all of their trust in the lawmen. Many, including Vicki Mustor of Mustor’s Wholesale Liquors, said they would look to improve their own security.
“We have to be totally watching everybody in the street all day long, all night long. Businesses in the areas have to boost their security systems,” said Mustor, who is planning to invest in a new surveillance system.
She said even though her business was mostly operational during the day, she had undertaken a full assessment of the security situation at her establishment, in light of Forde’s killing.
Today, as she reflected on Forde’s killing, Mustor was moved to tears as she spoke fondly of her friend of many years.
“His [Colin’s] father opened out there the same time when my father opened here in the 70s,” a teary-eyed Mustor said, as she struggled to compose herself.
She said the shooting, which occurred about an hour after she had closed her own shop, was a clear enough signal that Barbados was headed down the wrong path.
“It happens here and it could happen anywhere. If it could happen on this busy street it could happen anywhere in Barbados,” she told Barbados TODAY.
“I don’t want to be down here after dark. I know there’s a lot of business people that have no choice than to be down here after dark because that is when they make their money,” she said.
A bakery operator who requested anonymity shared Mustor’s sentiments, while emphasizing the need for increased police presence in Baxter’s Road, especially at night. He said the prominent City street that never sleeps had fallen prey to “a lot of foolishness” after dark.
“You call the police at night and they don’t come sometimes. If they do come, it is two or three hours later to ask you if everything all right now.
“We need more police to carry out checks in Baxter’s Road and any business owner would tell you that.”
Commenting on the turn of events on Tuesday night, he asked: “Suppose somebody was passing there with a child?
“I am really concerned and he was my friend. To see something like that happen down here is sad because all the business owners know each other and [Colin] was right from the Orleans,” he added.
Ronald Odle, manager at Young’s Supermarket, said even before this week’s tragedy management had warned staff to be on their guard, adding that the supermarket was looking at ways to enhance its existing security system.
“In business there are certain limitations that you have. We can only do how much we can do because there are limitations,” Odle said.
Meantime, the police Police Public Relations Officer Assistant Superintendent David Welch assured Barbados TODAY that the Force would look into the concerns of the business owners.