On the heels of 30 murders recorded here last year, including 23 that were gun related, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is reporting that the overall crime situation on the island has “quietened down significantly” since September last year.
“In terms of January so far, it was okay,” Brathwaite said, adding that “I think generally within the last quarter [of 2017] things have quieted down significantly.”
Ahead of this week’s major crime review conference of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), Brathwaite also explained that the island’s top law enforcers would be re-examining strategies “that they have used in the past and looking forward to what adjustments were needed going forward to ensure that Barbados continues to be a safe place to live and work”.
However, he warned that despite the police’s best efforts, the crime situation on the island could not be prevented or resolved without the cooperation of the ordinary man or woman.
“Last year was a difficult year and we can only look forward and hope this year would be better. In particular, we need lots of cooperation from the public,” he told Barbados TODAY, while stressing that everything falls down when good men see wrong and do nothing about it.
During a news conference last December, police reported a dramatic rise in the number of gun-related offences when compared to 2016, contributing to an overall increase in crime.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police responsible for Crime Colvin Bishop had told reporters during a press briefing at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City, that there was a 57 per cent increase in gun crimes up until the end of November. At the same time, lawmen said more people were arrested for firearms offences and more illegal guns seized last year than the previous year.
In the meantime, Brathwaite said he would be looking into reports of disgruntlement within the RBPF over planned promotions but told Barbados TODAY he was unaware of any such issues.
President of the Police Association of Barbados Mervin Grace also said he was awaiting instructions from his members after he earlier called for the 200 vacancies within the Force to be filled urgently, as well as for the appointment of officers in acting positions, ranging from sergeant to deputy commissioner of police.