If Barbadians want to see an end to the recent rise in violent crime then they must make it their civic duty to report crime to law enforcement instead of waiting on Government to solve the problem, says Chairman of Crime Stoppers Barbados, Oral Reid.
It is for this reason that Reid, a retired assistant police superintendent, is warning against the culture of demonizing those who report crimes by referring to them as snitches.
“The important thing to realize is that communication is critical and as long as the members of the wider community continue to recognize the critical role they play in terms of sharing information with the appropriate agencies then certain forms of conduct will continue to exist,” said Reid, who was responding to questions from Barbados TODAY following the launch of Crime Stoppers’ Cool Kids initiative, which was held this morning at the Southern Palm Hotel, St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church
The former high-ranking police officer stressed that those averse to reporting crime to law enforcement were essentially surrendering society to the criminal elements.
“I take a different view of what persons refer to as snitching. In previous societies we used to say that persons were just being malicious but it is important that persons take ownership of their communities. If we surrender our communities and stop communicating with the authorities and those charged with assisting us, then we would have surrendered to those persons who present with this type of behaviour,” he said.
Reid contended that a new culture should be cultivated where people who report crime should be hailed as heroes.
“We ought to celebrate those persons for coming out for taking that bold initiative not withstanding that the process is entirely anonymous. Our society really needs to proceed along that path,” he pointed out.
The Crime Stoppers chairman suggested that a violent crime wave was nothing new to Barbados but on each occasion, it was brought under control through information-sharing between police and the wider community.
“Over the years we have seen these concerns at various points periodically over time and in each time members of the Royal Barbados Police Force supported by the wider community have been able to come together with a goal of identifying and bringing those persons to justice who are the perpetrators of those crimes. My experience is that you will find that it is one or two persons that would move from one parish to another committing these crimes, emboldened by the fact that they have gotten away with it before,” he stressed.