There will be a heavier police presence in the Brittons Hill, St Michael community following a request from residents.
This afternoon, when police officers walked through Valery, Brittons Hill, residents complained about the influx of drugs and firearms, and called for more police surveillance.
Senior Superintendent Eucklyn Thompson agreed that there must be greater interaction between police and residents, promising that the Royal Barbados Police Force would step up its presence there.
“Some [residents] said to me that they want to have a greater police presence and that has to be examined; and everything would be done to ensure that that happens,” Thompson told journalists.
“You have heard too that some of the issues within this community really are not within the bosom of the residents; that they are people who are coming in and creating difficulties. So that too has to be looked at. In fact we encourage people to feed us with the requisite information.”
The senior police officer said while the Force was working with limited resources, officers were in discussions about finding creative ways to meet the demand.
“We want to be able to do some crime prevention to reassure people in their districts, in the parishes, that there is a social arm of the Force that we want to reach out and give to you,” he said.
Accompanying Thompson on the tour were Deputy Divisional Commander Acting Superintendent Leon Blades; Public Relations Officer Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch; Inspector in charge of Hastings Police Station Barry Hunte; Acting Inspector Stephen Griffith and Acting Station Sergeant responsible for community policing Roland Cobbler, among other officers.
They visited some of the hotspots in the Brittons Hill area, stopping at windows and doors to chat with residents.
One resident, who requested anonymity, said she was living in fear and wished for patrols all day, every day.
“I real scared. You know what it is like, you in you house and a ball come over your paling, next thing you know one man come over, another man here and if you tell them anything they ready to curse you. All of this shooting and thing, I don’t even go to church at nights. I am so scared,” she said.
Another female resident, who also requested anonymity, said she was forced to lie on the ground when she heard the bullets that riddled Kadeem Joseph in the wee hours of last Friday morning.
“I had to get down on the floor. I ain’t come outside until I hear the police,” she said.
But while some of the popular liming spots for the youth were empty, residents at Valery were eager to chat with the law enforcers.
Angus Coppin, 33, a former football coach with a Brittons Hill youth programme, said he welcomed a heavier police presence, but also wanted to see programmes in the community to keep young people busy.
“In the Brittons Hill area they have a lot of unemployed youngsters that need jobs and work. But then again, that come under the politicians and they need to come out and [hear] the views of the youth and what they need to be doing,” Coppin said.