Two committees have been formed to avoid a “scattershot” Government approach to fighting a rising level of violent crime, Attorney General Dale Marshall has revealed.
In a speech this morning at United Nations House, Marshall said the committees were established following a meeting convened by the Prime Minister with all social service ministries and agencies, along with those in the law enforcement and security to discuss an expanded response to crime in Barbados.
Attorney General Marshall said: “One outcome of our local meeting was the establishment of two committees; one of them to develop a comprehensive social policy for the island and the second, and perhaps more important in my mind, a committee to review and refocus all of our ongoing social sector projects to ensure that they are appropriate to our current context and also to develop a coherent approach to addressing the issues facing us.
“Neither me nor our Government is interested in a band-aid approach, but we are more interested in delving deeply into the causes and risk factors and this takes time and determination.”
The announcement of the committees comes as the 30 murders recorded for the first six months of the year exceed the homicide death toll for all of 2018.
But while those statistics were worrisome, the Attorney General declared, it would not be in Government’s best interest to act hastily and make rash decisions.
He said: “With this kind of unprecedented activity, there is always the risk of adopting a scattershot approach that might not make a difference in terms of crime prevention.
“In challenging times like these the decision making has to be done and made at the right time and this kind of intervention is what will enable us to make the right decisions at the right time.”
The Attorney General’s comments came as a workshop opened on surveying the victims of crime, organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The AG welcomed the workshop, saying the surveys would bring “timely” and much-needed information, as it would allow for “the sharing of best practices at a time when they are most needed”.
Government usually relied on the police to gather such information, he said.