More than half of the 21 people who have been killed by firearms for the year were on bail for serious offences, including murder.
This was revealed by Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Griffith, who also pointed out that all of the deceased men were “affiliated with certain groups”. In spite of this, the senior officer has assured Barbadians that the gun activity is confined to those known “groups” and that they should continue to go about their business.
Attorney General Dale Marshall also gave the public the assurance the country had not “descended into any state of anarchy,” and was still a safe place to live in spite of the “spike” in these gun-related deaths which he said were targeted and contained among rival groups.
“…Barbadians remain safe in their homes and in their communities,” the AG told a press conference this afternoon at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street in The City.
Meanwhile, ACP Griffith, who has responsibility for crime, also made the shocking revelation that of the 21 gun-related deaths, 14 of the subjects had been on bail.
In fact, he disclosed that one of the men who had been shot dead was on bail in relation to three murders.
There have been 28 murders for the year, with five stabbings, one strangulation and one person was beaten to death.
“So far for this year 2022 we have recorded 28 murders. Of those 28 murders 21 of them were as a result of the use of firearms. Now that figure is extremely high and we are extremely concerned about it.
“But when we examine these 21 murder cases, 14 of those deceased persons were on bail for various serious offences including murder, the use of firearm, possession of firearm, serious bodily harm by the use of firearm and such like,” Griffith said.
“…We cannot underscore the use of firearms in these related murders and when we look at it in relation to those persons who were on bail, one can see from our investigations that these persons are affiliated with certain groups in Barbados and it is no secret that there groups are warring against each other. We see it daily, there are persons out there who know of these warring factions…”
Griffith said investigations had also revealed that the murders were as a result of persons taking the law into their own hands.
“In one particular case there was a man on bail for three murders and one would expect that along the way he would have created several enemies and given the climate that exists amongst those persons anything can happen at any time,” Griffith maintained.
“…From our investigations it is very clear to us that the majority of these murders are committed by persons affiliated with those groups and they are exacting their own vengeance and therefore, putting Barbadians in fear. But I want to assure Barbadians that it is more or less confined to that particular group, with the 21 gun-related murders amongst that group.”
The senior officer said the firearm-related murders were drug and gang-related.
He also pointed out that the groups involved were not new.
“I would say that it is a combination [of drugs and gangs] but more so leaning towards gang or group activity. When you look at the very last four murders, those persons from our investigations were affiliated with particular groups,” Griffith said.
He, however, gave the assurance that the Barbados Police Service was working diligently to track down the perpetrators.
Griffith said no stone would be left unturned.
“Our men and women are on the job day and night and I want to assure the public that we will be relentless in our pursuits against these persons and I want to assure Barbadians that they can go about their business…” he said. (RB)