Police will be out in full force this Christmas to counter any potential increases in crime or road traffic challenges, with the Barbados Defence Force, island constables and traffic wardens providing additional manpower, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations William Yearwood said this week.
“For our policing of the Yuletide season together with our tourism season, we intend to have more visibility of our officers, both on the ground as foot patrols, our mobile patrols; we also have joint patrols . . . police officers coupled with members of the Barbados Defence Force. We will also have an island constabulary. There are also sector patrols, traffic wardens within The City,” Yearwood told a press briefing at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City on Tuesday.
He said the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) also intends to deploy more police motorcyclists on the streets, even as he drew attention to the increasing number of tourists who have started to flood the island with an average four ships per day bringing in sometimes in excess of 7,000 cruise passengers.
“Our objective is to keep our island state safe, keep those who come to our country, our visitors, safe as well.”
He said that while particular attention would be paid to the bustling commercial centres such as Warrens, St Michael, residential communities would not be ignored.
“Together with these areas of policing, we have to maintain cover within our residential areas as well as our commercial areas. A lot of shopping will be going on at this time. Our deployment is the responsibility of our divisional heads or divisional officers in charge of divisions. They have their troops to marshal, to deploy. They are the ones who know how crime is affecting their particular districts,” the senior police officer stressed, adding that while police leave would not be suspended, off-duty officers have been volunteering their services.
“We haven’t stopped leave this year, but officers have been coming forward and volunteering their services, those who are . . . off-duty, so that we can have adequate numbers of police in areas that are desired,” he said, while stressing the need to ensure officers are not burnt out.
“Policing is something that continues into the New Year and so on. We want to see that our officers have adequate rest so that at the turn of the year we would still be able to do what we desire in terms of policing of this country,” he said.