Barbados’ top judicial officer has warned about a growing class of sophisticated criminals in Barbados who is not only heavily armed but shoring up crimes with technology.
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson today further cautioned that law enforcers and the judiciary had to keep one step ahead of criminals who were more organized and technologically savvy.
Insisting there was organized crime in Barbados, Sir Marston told participants in a conference and workshop hosted by the Department of Public Prosecutions at Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, Rockley, Christ Church this morning, the country was no longer dealing with “your run of the mill criminal”.
In fact, Sir Marston said today’s offender was “organized, and he certainly is going to be acting in concert with other people”.
The top level judicial officer noted that apart from guns, criminals were frequently using computers to carry out their nefarious acts.
“You are looking at criminals who, for example, have, and I am just telling you based on an application that was made to me recently . . . who [have] two AK-47s, endless amounts of ammunition, [and] money deposited in the bank,” he said.
Moreover, the Chief Justice advised: “A lot of the ways in which you will prevent cybercrime is by making sure that your system is as cyber secure as you can possibly make it. If you are operating your system on Windows XP, you are asking cybercriminals to come into your cyber house and commit crime.”
Also addressing the workshop attended by top anti-crime officials, prosecutors and judicial officers, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite said when Barbados joined Caribbean Community states in adopting a crime security agenda in 2013, cybercrime and transnationally organized crime were not top tier threats to Barbados but he said they had since become significant areas of concern.
At the same time, Brathwaite said the authorities had stepped up their response to such crimes.
“The Minister responsible for telecommunications has declared that the national cybersecurity strategy aimed at providing a robust cyber defence framework and systems is currently being revised for Barbados.”
He said revisions were coming to the Computer Misuse Act, the Electronics Transfer Act, Telecommunications Act and the Copyright Act.
“I suspect we are going to have additional unit legislation, and I can think in particular of the Deception of Communications [Act], which St Lucia has had and Jamaica has . . . and from what I have been told, has been used to good effect,” he added.
Brathwaite also told participants in the three-day workshop titled Strengthening our Capacity to Combat Cybercrime and Other Organized Crimes that the long-mooted Forfeiture of Civil Assets legislation would go before Parliament by the end of November, as another weapon in fighting organized transnational crime.