Back off cops
That’s what trade union leader Senator Sir Roy Trotman urged today as the members of the Royal Barbados Police Force faced fresh criticism about their response, or lack thereof, to crop theft.
Speaking during debate on the Precious Metals and Second Hand Metal Act in the Upper House today, both acting leader Minister of Commerce and Trade, and Independent Senator Dr. Frances Chandler asked for the law against praedial larceny to be enforced and for the police to take farmer reports more seriously.
But the Barbados Workers’ Union General Secretary said law enforcers were not always at fault in such circumstances.
“I consider that it is about time that our police force, particularly in areas like this, is able to call upon and to expect higher and greater levels of public support and sympathy than we currently give to those members of the police force, who are endeavoring to do the work that they are entitled to do,” he said.
“While there will be evidence from time to time of abuse of their office, and while there will be from time to time evidence that persons have not used the right levels of judgment, I think it’s also true to say that the work which is being done by the police force is work which many persons in our community are unwilling to do and that in many instances those same members of the police force are not able to get other people not even to help by a good word or by a bit of advice.
“And I am concerned that in endeavoring to … ensure that the legislation is dealt with by the members who walk the beats, by the members who work as investigators … that in those many instances the police will find themselves being subjected to levels of abuse and unfriendliness which sometimes is the greatest off setter,” he added.
Sir Roy also said that in cases of crop theft when the police were said to be insensitive, a part of the problem was that the law enforcers were not allowed to do their job as they best knew how to.
“I would wish to venture the view that in many instances those examples … of what appears to be insensitivity or what appears to be indifference … they have come about as a result of the manner in which the resolution of those same issues was attempted…,” he stated.
“In many instances those people who endeavour to keep us safe, those people who endeavour to keep the peace they are made to appear as though they are the criminals and their efforts are sometimes dismissed, rejected, … be persons who are better positioned and who chose not to want the course of justice to be pursued.
“And I would think that we have as a people, we have as a community, to be bothered about what is the form of the community, what is the form of the society that we are endeavoring to build and how we are going to work together to ensure that all elements, all segments, all strata within that society are able to come together for the common good.” (SC)