If the Royal Barbados Police Force wants to arrest crime it needs to “cut off the head of the snake”, a University of the West Indies academic has suggested.
But Dr Dwayne Devonish, a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill has suggested that these supposed crime lords that possibly included crooked police, lawyers and business owners run a underground criminal network.
He said it’s time police stop running behind small criminals and turn their interest toward those at the top.
He said if left untouched, those crime bosses would continue to influence young people to get involved in crime, as the gun and drug trades were proving to be very lucrative.
“In terms of the attractiveness of crime, I must say that if you look at the amount of money and investment in criminal activity, especially when you look at the gun trade and the drug trade, even for someone who is underemployed… that amount of money, that particular opportunity is going to snatch that young person away,” Devonish said.
The UWI lecturer appeared in a panel discussion on solutions to youth crime and violence in Barbados at the 3W’s Oval at Cave Hill last Friday.
He maintained that there was an organised underground criminal world in Barbados that needed to be infiltrated.
Devonish told the audience: “The only way we can deal with this crime situation is to not only attack from the bottom, but we have to look at the top.
“I’m not fearful to say this but we have to look at from businessmen, police officers, lawyers; this thing is a money-making enterprise, it is not conspiracy, it is a deep underground business environment that we have.”
“We can talk a lot about youth programming in communities and trying to get the youth to develop skills and so on, but until we address the head of the snake we will continue to have that problem where crime remains a lucrative and attractive opportunity for young people,” he said.
Devonish added that with guns being sold for $10 000 and rented for up to $700, it was evident that there were significant returns from crime.
Devonish praised Government for its efforts to pass legislation to confiscate the properties and monies from convicted criminals.