Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Edward Clarke has condemned the most recent killing, which took place at the busy Sheraton Mall on Thursday afternoon.
In fact, Clarke said the daring daylight shooting should serve as the final wake-up call for all Barbadians, insisting that every support that can be given to crime fighting officials should be rendered.
“We have to fight this, we have to fight it from within on the ground and we have to ensure that we support the police and the security services to the utmost at this time,” said Clarke.
Yesterday, 33-year-old Damian Trotman of Highland, St Philip became this island’s 20th murder when he was shot by a man around 1:50 p.m. at the mall in the presence of scores of people.
Condemning the act, Clarke said he was very concerned about the impact the crime situation was having on residents and visitors, adding, “A lot of damage could have been done yesterday and a lot of lives lost if it had gone differently.
“It is scaring a lot of Barbadians and this is not the Barbados we want. We want to be able to live our lives, go to these public areas and live freely and without fear. People are scared. We have to fix the problem. We have to find out what is causing this and work with the community leaders to fix the problem from the source,” he said.
“Yes, the policing and the security will take care of the issues as it is now, but there is a bigger problem that we have to fix in Barbados to ensure that this doesn’t continue,” he added.
The business leader said while there was still a level of consolation that the criminal elements remained a small segment of society and that Barbados remained a God-fearing society, it was still extremely necessary for changes to be made at all levels including the home, school and in the various communities, with the help of the business community.
“I think we need to mentor a lot of people. Also we have to look at our education system. A lot of people are being left behind, let us face it, and that cannot continue. We have to find a solution for the education system – a different mode of education. We are not doing it right . . . So we have got to find the alternative and we have the brains in Barbados to do so,” he said.
“I think it is incumbent on all of us, business leaders and the wider community – the community leaders, church and security forces – everybody has to get involved. Let us work together to bring Barbados back to where we need to be,” pleaded Clarke.
Calling on Barbadians to give their full support to the Royal Barbados Police Force and other crime fighting efforts, the private sector head said it was also critical that Government and business leaders create gainful employment opportunities for young people in an effort to help steer them away from a life of crime and violence.
“We need to ensure that we find gainful employment for Barbadians of all walks of life. We need to ensure that the community comes back to life and people look out for one another. I would hate to see Barbados continue in this vein and I think that every businessman in Barbados and every Barbadian, if we haven’t waken up yet, that yesterday was a final wake-up call for us,” he said.