With 18 murders three months into 2019 – including a weekend double murder – the chief of detectives Eucklyn Thompson says investigators have solved most of the killings.
“We have solved the majority of the murders for the year thus far,” said the Assistant Commissioner of Police for Crime, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). “We have always done well in solving crimes in Barbados and I think this is one of the things Barbadians know us for.”
But the Police high command officer acknowledges that detectives’success, including falling crime rates, are cold comfort to many gripped by fear.
Thompson told Barbados TODAY: “Crime is down but the public is not going to take comfort in that in the face of murders, especially at the levels we have had this year, because people are going to naturally be afraid to go out. So, to tell people that serious crimes are down is going to mean nothing to them in the face of 18 murders.”
The head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said his department’s round-the-clock efforts to wrestle gun violence to the ground are manifested in how quickly the police have been able to solve these murders.
Thompson said: “It is not a desirable state to be in to have 18 murders and March is not yet completed. This is not at all desirable for the administration of the Royal Barbados Police Force and it is certainly something we wrap our head around and strategise about every day.”
Thompson thanked the public for continuing to provide information leading to the arrest of perpetrators.
In the wake of three shooting deaths over the weekend, Thompson reminded Barbadians that while the force has wide scope with respect to crime detection and intelligence gathering, prevention is a much tougher task.
Thompson said: “While with the best will in the world any law enforcement organisation would want to prevent crime and in particular crime where people lose their lives, we cannot be in the minds of people. In the scope of things in our country we can only execute plans which speak to protection and detection by doing things such as patrolling. We cannot prevent a man or woman from conjuring up in their minds to execute somebody.”
On Friday, 16-year-old Ashton Renaldo Forde of Green Hill, St Michael was shot and killed around 9:35 p.m. Two days later, Betty Mayers and son Jamal became murder victims 17 and 18, and they too met their demise by gun violence.
Thompson pointed out that in the case of Forde’s death, officers were on patrol in the area as part of ramped up efforts to bring crime hotspots under control.
He noted that: “None of these crimes are
done in the presence of the police. They are done when the police are not there . . . . For instance, when we got the report of the incident at Eden Lodge, we were actually in the area. We were able to respond quickly but we were not able to prevent the loss of life. The person or persons who executed that shooting death was ahead
Thompson also revealed that other serious crimes are on the decline but acknowledged that this fact is of little comfort to Barbadians.