Even with a policeman in almost every community in Barbados, there is no significant intelligence provided by these lawmen on criminal elements and activities in their own neighborhoods.
This assertion comes from the head of the Criminal Intelligence Department (CID), Eucklyn Thompson who said that while calls continue for members of the public to provide intelligence on the criminal elements, many police officers were not leading by example.
“Not because somebody lives in a particular area means that they are going to act in a particular way. We are dealing with human beings and while as a police officer you are called upon to provide information on issues in your domain, not everyone is so minded. We have our own faults, we are not above faults and while we have a calling to respond to things in our environment, it is not always the case,” Thompson stated.
The senior lawman provided no data to support his statement but one retired senior police officer told Barbados TODAY that during his 20 years as an investigator, only once did a fellow officer provide him with a tip from his community that led to the successful conclusion of an investigation. He said this was the case even with the implementation of the Resident Beat Officer scheme and officers being assigned to specific communities.
Despite difficiencies in information flow from both internal and external sources, s Thompson has given the assurance that there will be very few hiding places for crime in 2019. He vowed that the intelligence-gathering arm of the police would be kicking over every rock to get to the root of serious crimes, especially illegal guns.
He warned that no one was beyond the long arm of the law and therefore all avenues would be followed, including the money trail leading to the head of criminal enterprises.
“There is legislative framework to deal with tax evasion, money laundering and so on…We still operate under the premise that no one is above the law and whatever intelligence is available, we are duty-bound to follow,” said Thompson.
Noting that he did not want the criminal element to be forearmed with advanced knowledge about police plans, the senior lawman did not divulge the details of any imminent strategy. However, he made it clear that intelligence related to gun violence was a priority.
“It is a concern and the blindest person can see that things of that nature are occurring and we have to address those issues as a matter of urgency. I cannot reveal our strategy but suffice to say that gun crimes are a serious concern to the Royal Barbados Police Force and we are strategizing on the best ways to deal with this serious issue,” he said.
Thompson pointed out that while the police had always held high standards for investigating crime, there was always room for improvement. He also repeated the call for more members of the public to come forward with information on crime.
“The police service has always operated with the support of the public. We can have our own intelligence network but critical to what we do is the support of the public. This goes a long way in resolving a lot of the critical issues, so we can never get enough information on crime issues. From our standpoint there is always room for improvement in terms of our crime-fighting strategies,” he stressed.