Little island, big disappointment is how one Welcome Stamp visa participant says she is feeling about the police response to complaints of menacing behaviour toward her.
But the New Yorker claims her complaints are being echoed by other expatriates who are here under the one-year remote work visa.
The visitor, who asked not to be named, has been on the island since December and said she has been harassed on two occasions by a man behaving aggressively and threateningly toward her. She complained that her report was not taken seriously by the Royal Barbados Police Force — even though officers joined her in search for the assailant.
The visitor who is staying in the Dover area told Barbados TODAY: “Less than two weeks ago I’ve seen the same guy yell at me and then run after me terrorizing me in The Gap over and over. The second time that it happened was the night before last. I ran into The Gap convenience store. There was a woman there who I asked to call the police.”
She said she filed a report and drove around with the police trying to identify the man but he wasn’t found.
But she said when she followed up with the police, she was disappointed by the turnaround, which has left her to wonder if it would take an escalation of attacks for them to act more decisively.
“I don’t expect that when you know I’m facing some kind of threat of danger or harm that it is downplayed, swept under the rug,” said the woman. “I am dismissed as a woman and I’m angry, I’m not happy with the level of attention they’re giving this. I don’t want anybody to get hurt.”
She said the police were very dismissive of her concerns. The woman said that she is forced to stay in her house afraid. “This happened on my street,” she said. “I was locked in my house all last night afraid to go outside twice this guy found me and started running after me. What needs to happen for the police to be interested in something here?”
The woman said the man has a very distinctive mark on his face with a black tattoo on his left eye and is sporting dreadlocks.
“I don’t know how some person with this description could not be found in Barbados,” she said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
She claimed she was prompted to go public with her story after sharing her tale with a group of other Welcome Stampers who reported a similar experience.
“One woman said it sounds like a person who attempted a home invasion; she also had a terrible experience with the police.”
When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss said he could not provide a comment on the matter.