The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) said today that recent directions issued by the Governor General for the military to work with the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) were neither new nor unusual.
Chief of Staff Colonel Glyne Grannum said such directions to provide military assistance to the civil power and authorities, have been issued by the Governor General twice a year for over two decades now.
Grannum was responding to a story published in Barbados TODAY yesterday which linked the direction issued in
December 2017, to preparations for the upcoming general election, constitutionally due by June.
“The directions, issued in December and June of each year, have. . . been renewed every six months for over 25 years. The Governor General’s directions to the Barbados Defence Force also provide the legal underpinning for the assistance provided to the Royal Barbados Police Force for counter narcotics operations and to counter incidents of crime which negatively impact public safety. [Therefore] any suggestion that the issuance of the Governor-General’s directions is linked to any electoral process is grossly misleading,” the Chief of Staff said in a statement issued this evening through the Barbados Government Information Service.
He explained that as far back as the 1980s, the Governor General, in exercise of powers under the Laws of Barbados, specifically Section 9 (2) of the Defence Act Cap. 159, has been issuing directions to the Chief of Staff to provide military assistance to the civil power and authorities.
He pointed out that this was done when the BDF first assisted the Ministry of Agriculture and the Police Force with such operational matters as the patrols to deter and detect fires/arson of the sugar cane crop, the joint patrols for the protection of tourists visiting beaches and rural scenic attractions and for the annual Crop Over Festival.