Extra resources are to be poured into the Royal Barbados Police Force to apprehend “lawless villains” who continue to wreak havoc on the society, said Attorney General Dale Marshall as the 51st murder in 13 months brought the tidal wave of bloodshed close to a primary school.
He also pledged a “heavy-handed” but “lawful” response in an emergency press briefing in the aftermath of a fatal shooting outside the St Albans Primary School in St James while students and staff watched in horror.
“The Royal Barbados Police Force has sought additional resources and those requests are being looked upon favourably.
“This morning’s events proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that we all stand to be affected by the actions of these criminals and we must all stand together to stamp their interests out,” he told reporters.
The National Security Council is to be convened after Cabinet’s weekly meeting on Thursday where the rising tide in violent crime is to be discussed further, the justice minister said.
He then suggested the response by law enforcement officials would become more heavy-handed and warned criminals that they would not be allowed to wreak havoc on the 166-square mile island.
“We will not allow you to destroy our society,” Marshall declared. “The handful of you will not be allowed to wreak havoc unchecked in Barbados.
“We are intent on bringing Barbados to a state of relative peace and we will do what we must.
“No lawful action will be considered to be out of the reach of the Royal Barbados Police Force and I am charging them with bringing these lawless people to swift justice. Barbados must become a very uncomfortable place for these villains.”
The day before, area MP and Home Affairs Minister Edmund Hinkson was at St Alban’s presenting Class Three pupils with tablets alongside a rich Canadian benefactor who has made Barbados his family’s home.
The Attorney General did not specify what resources the force would receive, but declared that the callous nature of the country’s second murder for 2020 had strengthened his resolve.
Marshall promised that no “lawful” action would be spared in the crime fight.
He declared: “Today’s homicide more than perhaps any other demonstrates the absolute callousness of the criminal element in Barbados.
“To carry out any execution is wrong but in the precincts of a primary school, which is supposed to be a place of safety for our young and fragile minds is an act of sheer evil.”
Marshall urged Barbadians not to hide information they may have about criminals and crime “even if it involves your brother or sister”.
He said: “Anybody engaged in this
type of evil activity has to be brought to justice and it can only happen with right-thinking Barbadians coming forward to support the efforts of the Royal Barbados Police Force.
“We are in this together and when one side falls, the entire country falls.”