Former Commissioner of Police Orville Durant is blaming an absence of leadership for the rise in gun violence.
And while he did not point an accusing finger at anyone in particular, Durant seemed to shield the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) from blame, while he said Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite needed to take charge of the situation.
“The whole crime situation needs leadership and until there is clear leadership there . . . and this goes past the Police Commissioner . . . because the commissioner can only do so much within his resources and so on,” Durant told Barbados TODAY.
“I am satisfied that a lot of the problems lie in one, the fact that we are not generally managing the crime situation as it should be managed . . . managing the society in a way that you reduce the risk of crime . . . and the second one is that the police force needs resources to continue the kind of programmes that were ran earlier. We need to have more information on what is happening. They say there are shortages and all of that.
“They need to examine very carefully all areas of the society, so they can effectively look at the kind of programmes and the kind of things that need to be done to prevent crime. There is a primary concern, then there is a secondary concern. Those two areas are not given the kind of attention that they should be given . . . and that’s where the Attorney General needs to lead the society,” he added.
The retired police chief, who led the RBPF from 1982 to 1995, said while information from the public is critical in helping officers solve crimes, the authorities needed to ensure Barbadians felt comfortable to share information with lawmen.
He also suggested that the RBPF needed additional resources, while he lamented: “The Force doesn’t even have a commissioner.”
In calling for “a comprehensive response, not just the police”, the former commissioner said the prison and the law courts also had a role to play in crime prevention, therefore, “their response to crime has to be seriously considered.
“The whole thing has to be looked at properly and that’s not being done,” he said.