Warning that the recent upsurge of crime and violence could have a crippling effect on the economy and social services, the General Secretary of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB) Dennis De Peiza is calling for swift judicial action involving gun related crime.
De Peiza said CTUSAB, which is alarmed and concerned about the development, also wants a decisive and sustained plan of action to tackle both the escalating gun crime and the apparent gang activity.
“While the country may speculate on how it has reached this point, and may wish to point towards the illicit drug trade and gang-related activity, the frontal issue to be addressed is how to arrest the behaviour of criminal element, whose actions can impact negatively on an already ailing economy.
“CTUSAB supports the introduction of security measures at the ports of entry, which are intended to prevent the smuggling of illegal guns into the country,” he said.
The general secretary also urged the Royal Barbados Police Force to rekindle the spirit of community policing as a tool for use in the push back against the scourge of all forms of criminal activity.
He said in the fight against the rising tide of gun crimes, violence and trafficking of illegal drugs, it is absolutely necessary that an all-out effort be made at ensuring that the Royal Barbados Police Force is provided with all of the resources necessary, inclusive of human capital and relevant technology.
“The issues of gun-crime and violence need to be tackled head-on if Barbados’ image as a safe place to live, a safe destination to visit and place to work, is not to be tarnished. Barbadians must feel safe going about their daily lives, whether commuting to and from or while at work, and within the communities in which they live.
“As a nation there can be no divide on this issue. It is now imperative that all efforts are directed at curbing the entry of illegal firearms into the country. Members of the public are urged to show unswerving support for the work of the Royal Barbados Police Force as the law enforcement agency which is charged with the protection of the safe state. We must all play our part to bring an end to the acts of criminal activity and lawlessness,” he said.
CTUSAB also raised concerns about the trauma which these incidences can have on the psyche of the Barbadian worker and those who are witnesses to these senseless and acts.
“The Barbadian economy and social services will experience further stress in seeking to treat and care for the survivors of the action of the criminal element amongst us. Barbadians are urged to seriously consider the burden that our National Insurance Scheme, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Ambulance Service, families, the church and other institutions will bear in coping with these tragic circumstances and the fall-out,” De Peiza said.