The political party that formed the last Government in Barbados is the latest voice to condemn Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s recent appointment of former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin to be consultant on crime to the current Commissioner Tyrone Griffith.
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) today expressed alarm at the move, which Prime Minister Mottley told a news conference on Friday would allow Dottin to lend his “skills” in the crime fight.
But the DLP sees it as a worrying approach to dealing with the country’s crime problem.
The party said in a press release that it was alarmed that the prime minister was merely superimposing a former officer who was removed from duty.
“The re-hiring of the former Commissioner of Police in a post of consultant is a slap in the face of those responsible for law enforcement in the country. With this clumsy enforcement of glaring political patronage the prime minister has made it clear to the current Commissioner of Police and all Barbadians that she has no confidence in the police force, and especially its senior management,” the release stated.
The DLP, whose general secretary Guyson Mayers was chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) during Dottin’s tenure, recalled that Attorney General Dale Marshall’s first act of business on assuming responsibility for the police was to bring soldiers to work with them, an initiative the former Government utilised during the Crop Over season.
“This too sent a message to the police and the public that he has no new solutions nor the ability to source preventative measures,” said the party, which is now led by its first female president Verla Depeiza.
The DLP said it respected the decision of its general secretary to separate his service as the chairman of the Police Service Commission from his politics and not to engage in his duties in that office at this time.
“The decision taken by the prime minister to push Darwin Dottin back in the RBPF is an affront to the decency of Barbadians and will undermine our legal system. Far from curbing crime, it will embolden the criminal element, for all will now know that there is no morality in the maintenance of law and order under this administration,” the party said.
The DLP believes that firm measures are often needed to enforce the law, but contended that no one should ever step outside the law to do so.
“Further, we are policing fellow citizens and that should never entail declaring war on our own people, especially when the prime minister believes that the gun violence that we are witnessing is as she says just a spat between two groups,” the DLP warned.
The party said it respects and has confidence in the systems and institutions that have served this country well for many years and continues to trust the members of the force to do what they have been trained to do.
“That the prime minister would attack the previous administration and use it as an excuse for her Government’s inability to manage the crime situation in the country is not surprising. We have long observed that this Government’s approach has been one of blame all others and accept no responsibility for anything.”
However, the DLP said the safety of Barbadians is more important than cheap political tactics.
“Some things should be above politics and Prime Minister Mottley and her Attorney General need to bring solutions to the people who believed she had them. The blame game has become stale,” the party said.