Even as Barbados recorded its 23rd and 24th murders in just six days and less than six months into the year, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith is maintaining confidence in the plan to arrest the worrying spike in homicides and especially gun deaths.
Griffith, in an interview with Barbados TODAY stressed that had it not been for the efforts of the police, the situation could have worsened. He explained that police have been successful in gathering intelligence which thwarted several “heinous acts” and the recovery of illegal firearms.
“Things are working because things could be worse.… We rely a lot on intelligence and we have had quite good intelligence and as I said at the Passing Out Parade, there are some four [potential] murders that we have foiled due to good intelligence.
“So, I think our plans are working and we have been recovering firearms and the hotspots are not as hot as they used to be.”
Government has come in for severe criticism for its handling of crime. Last week, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) called for the firing of Attorney General Dale Marshall and Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson.
The DLP made the call in a press release, which claimed that none of the initiatives implemented by the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) had worked.
The DLP charged in the release: “There are efforts being made to curb this situation, we are unhappy to say that those efforts are not bearing fruit.
“The DLP is once again calling on the Prime Minister Mia Mottley to mandate her Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs to come up with workable solutions to stem the killings that are now too frequent in this country or remove them from their posts. Barbados deserves nothing less.”
While making no mention of the release, Griffith poured cold water on this criticism. He pointed out that many of these shootings were executions and that the odds were therefore heavily stacked against law enforcement in preventing them.
“Given what we are seeing, for the most part many of these gun related crimes are clearly executions. There is no easy way to manage executions because if individuals want to kill, it is fairly easy to do so…. Clearly if an individual goes to a remote area to shoot someone, it is difficult to police that,” he stressed.
Last Friday, 29-year-old Katani Jamani Emmanuel Callender, alias Kay Kay or “Snoop”, of Sunny Side Court, Deacons Farm, St Michael, was shot and killed at Ruby Tenantry, St Philip. Callender, staying with a friend in Ruby Tenantry, St. Philip, was sitting in a chair just outside the residence when loud and sudden explosions were heard. His lifeless body was discovered by residents of the household.
The previous weekend, police responded to the shooting of 46-year-old Eton Likeyn of Beckles Road, St Michael. Police say Likeyn and Andrew Michael Vanderpool of Apt 5E, Country Towers, St Michael, were having a conversation while seated in a motor vehicle.
The duo were approached and surprised by a man who had his face hidden with a scarf. The armed man ordered both men out of the vehicle and proceeded to rob them of cash and valuables. Likeyn was shot and later died.