The United Progressive Party is demanding Government provides greater details on the consultative function to be performed by former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin.
As a matter of fact, head of the UPP Lynette Eastmond says she is puzzled as to what unique services the retired lawman could bring to the table, suggesting that the move could be construed as questioning the competence of current Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith. She also called on the Prime Minister to state how much, if any, was Dottin’s consultancy going to cost the taxpayers.
“I don’t have any idea what former Police Commissioner Dottin’s role is meant to be. I don’t think that was outlined. I have had no reason to believe our current Commissioner of Police [Tyrone Griffith] isn’t up to the task,” said Eastmond
During Mottley’s press conference on Friday, Attorney General Dale Marshall provided rationalization for leaning on the expertise of Dottin, noting that the current Commissioner of Police has welcomed the input.
“I believe that this will be an opportunity for us to welcome former Commissioner back into the area of lending his skills to helping us to deal with this issue. The current Commissioner has welcomed him and has welcomed the advice of the former Commissioner because we recognize that many of these issues have presented themselves to the Barbadian society in the past,” he explained. Griffith also spoke at the media briefing on Friday but he did not address Dottin’s return
Marshall further pointed out that “these kinds of spikes are not unknown to Barbados, but perhaps more importantly [the move to bring in Dottin] is a demonstration of the fact that every single Barbadian, former police officers, have an opportunity and a role to play in dealing with these issues.”
However, this morning Eastmond revealed that she was far from satisfied with the Attorney General’s explanation. She pointed out that based on her knowledge as an officer of the court, the police are in desperate need of forensic resources and suggested that area should receive first priority.
“The police force itself needs additional resources in terms of their crime detection, gathering of evidence and maintenance of evidence. I don’t know if the former Commissioner is going to bring any of those services. Maybe he is going to do research to see how we could improve the current force, but we need to know what his role is,” said Eastmond, who called on either the Prime Minister or Attorney General to spare the country the guessing game.
Eastmond made it clear that she was not impressed with the rest of the Prime Minister’s plan to combat the worrying issue of gun violence.
Describing it as a public relations exercise, Eastmond charged that Mottley’s remedy for the gun violence scourge, which has claimed five lives and injured 13 persons, was essentially a mop-up exercise rather than an actual fix.
“We do not believe that the measures go far enough to get to the root of the issue, especially as it relates to guns. As a friend once told me, you don’t get a mop and bucket to fix a leak. So, to have additional soldiers to deal with a situation that currently exists does not stop the rot at the core. Having soldiers and police officers walk through communities is just optics, it is PR, we really want to get to the root of the problem,” said Eastmond, who was speaking at a press conference this morning held at the Courtyard Marriot Hotel.
The UPP leader contended that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was in power for almost a year and therefore had no excuse for coming with a strategy that only scratched the surface of the issue.
“We should have received something that was better structured. Any structure that is put in place to deal with this issue has to take into account, not just police officers whose mandate it is to deal with crime when it occurs, but it must also involve personnel who deal with prevention of crime and community issues and early intervention,” she stressed. firstname.lastname@example.org