The Royal Barbados Police Force today showered praise on the public for its “invaluable assistance” that led to the arrest of two teenagers for the shooting of a Canadian visitor last month.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce revealed that the teens were charged with aggravated burglary and several gun-related offences in the attack on Kenneth Elliot, 65, in which he was shot and left paralysed.
Travis Campbell, of no fixed placed of abode, and Alexander Alleyne of Ealing Park, Christ Church— both 19— were arrested in connection with the home invasion, which raised local and international concern about visitor safety in Barbados
Elliot and his family were vacationing at Diamond Close, Ealing Park, Christ Church when two armed men forced their way into the house.
Deputy Commissioner Boyce stressed that the speed at which they were able to make an arrest in this case would not have been possible without the assistance of the public. He revealed that even relatives of the accused cooperated with police in the investigation.
He said: “If it is one thing the force has always advocated is that if you see something, say something.
“The use of social media to highlight those persons had given the public something to go on.
“This is why I am so grateful, and I am really showering praise on the members of the public who cooperated with us to bring this matter to a close.
“It is something that had international and national impact, so our efforts were directed at getting to the root of the matter.”
“It is difficult to measure the public’s assistance but if we were to measure it we would say that it has been substantial.
“It was critical for us in getting the information out there and getting the answers that we wanted. This is the only way that we can manage the crime situation.”
But despite recent consistent cries by law enforcement officials that the public was usually reluctant to provide information on crimes, the Deputy Police Commissioner was adamant that the groundswell of support this time around had nothing to do with the fact that the victim was a tourist.
He contended that the difference on this occasion was the amount of information that the public was privy to. Boyce was referring to the security footage of the home invasion which went viral on social media.
He said: “Once we get the information out there and once people know about the issues, they normally give us a buzz.
“Sometimes they call crime stoppers, they call our hotline, or they meet policemen generally and share some information with them.
“So, it is not unusual that Barbadians respond in this manner and it is not because a visitor was involved.
“It is because Barbadians have a sense of civic duty to inform and to keep Barbados safe, he said while underscoring the importance of the case’s closure to the maintenance of confidence in the safety of the country.
“We also want at this point in time to shower praise on the investigators, who ensured that we bring this matter to a close. It will go a long way in having the level of confidence not only from that location (in Christ Church) perspective but the wider Barbados. It was something that impacted everyone.”
The accused, who appeared before Magistrate Elwood Watts at the Oistins Magistrates Court faced three charges.
These include unlawfully wounding Kenneth Elliott with intent to maim, disfigure or disable him or to do him some serious bodily harm.
That they entered the dwelling house of Robert Elliott as a trespasser with intent to steal and at the time of commission had with them a firearm and a weapon of offence – a cutlass.
The third charge related to the use of a firearm without a valid licence to do so.
Alleyne and Campbell were not required to plead to the indictable offences.
They were remanded to Dodds and will return to court on April 6.