Many Barbadians may be inadvertently contributing to the country’s crime woes simply because they are “frightened for their skin” says Home Affairs Minister Edmund Hinkson.
Speaking during a church service at the Sanctuary Empowerment Centre to mark the start of Crime Awareness month, he pointed to the reluctance of some Barbadians to report criminal activity in their communities fearing they may become the target of those perpetuating criminal activity.
“It cannot be that we continue to be frightened for our shadow as many of us Barbadians know we are,” Hinkson said.
Pointing to recent violent crimes, Hinkson reminded Barbadians of their obligation to report criminal activity to law enforcement officials.
“You have to assist in cooperating with the police, in giving information because it is only in this way that resolution can be found to some of our problems; and you do yourself and your community and family a disservice if you have information on criminal activity and refuse to give it to the relevant authorities, because you yourself are scared for your skin and for possible reprisals.”
Over the weekend, several incidents left victims nursing injuries. Among them, Lance Thomas, 22, who was shot in his foot near his home in Eden Lodge.
Early Saturday morning, 27-year-old Dario Yearwood was shot and Akeem Tudor stabbed during an incident at Princess Royal Avenue, The Pine.
The Home Affairs Minister stressed the need for men in particular to start solving their differences without using violence.
Shifting the focus to those in the congregation, he admonished members of the congregation to play a more serious role in bringing men back into the pews.
“Society is only as strong as its weakest link and if the weak link is the marginalization of young men and the criminal involvement of a lot of young men in society… it means that our society will be kept back and will not advance as much as it ought to be able to advance.
This is the challenge for religious organizations in Barbados. Don’t rest on your laurels thinking you’re doing the best you can do when you’re not,” he implored.
“You have to meet them on their turf, you can’t stay in the confines of your physical location and feel that you can find programmes or policies that will attract the marginalized men of this society. You have to go out there, you have to get involved with them.” (KS)