Hard work, thorough investigating and sound intelligence have been key in helping police to stem a worrying trend of gun-related murders.
That is according to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, who told members of the media this morning that initiatives implemented by the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) were mainly responsible for the recent decrease in fatal shootings.
Back on June 18 during a hastily-called press conference at police headquarters, there had already been 30 murders recorded for the year – 19 of them gun-related – surpassing the 28 murders recorded in 2018.
During that press conference the Commissioner revealed that the majority of those murders committed were targeted, execution-style killings.
Since then, there have been two additional murders, one gun related.
The island’s top cop explained that there was no magical fix to the problem.
“The efforts have been there from the very inception. The murders that we have been getting, there is no magical solution to them. It is a matter of us continuing to do those things that we do well in terms of our investigations, in terms of making sure that we conduct thorough patrols in those areas, making sure that we rely heavily on intelligence and do our work,” Griffith said.
“At some stage we will still get murders. It is easy to take the praise when there is a reduction, but it would mean that you also have to take the flack when there is an increase. But I’m sure the policies that we have in place are working and working well and would have contributed to the reduction.
“I hope that our young men especially are seeing the need to change. I believe there are some long-term measures that need to take effect but I’m satisfied that we are in control of things,” he added.
The Commissioner said with Crop Over in full swing, the force has been out in its numbers, despite a shortage of personnel, to ensure Barbadians and tourists alike are safe.
The top cop had high praise for his officers, who he said gave of their best despite not always working in the best conditions.
“We are really going to be going all out to ensure that our visitors and our locals enjoy the Crop Over without any real hiccups. We have significant shortages, but we manage our resources well and that is key. You can only do so much.
“The important thing is to maximize the use of your resources, that is what we are doing and I think we’re doing well in that regard,” Griffith said.
“At the same time our men and women have been extremely committed to the task at hand and that is what is critical. But sometimes some of the conditions we work under are not the best but our men and women still give it 100 per cent.”