Enforce the law
That’s what Independent Senator Dr. Frances Chandler told other members of the Upper House today as they debated the new Precious Metals and Second Hand Metal Act.
The agriculturalist also said part of the problem was the public perception that some police and “people in high places”, including politicians, were involved in illegal activities.
“I understand that when the farmers go to the (police) station to report their losses they are told by the police that it’s not a priority for them, so how can we ever get anywhere? So we can have all the laws in this world, but the enforcement is the important thing,” she said.
“So this sale of metals we have to find out if this is a priority to the police force, and as far as I can see from a number of allegations from members of the public that a lot of times the police are involved in these things, as well as people in very high places and as well as politicians. I suppose you can put the politicians as well as the people in high places together but they are not always the same.
“And the public feels that they are also involved in cock fighting and dog fighting and so therefore these illegal things continue. So … it’s alright to have the legislation but it is the enforcement and the public must have confidence in those who are in authority if not this whole problem will continue,” she added.
Chandler said while she agreed Barbados was “being influenced by outside forces” she also thought “politicians have over the years encouraged people in lawlessness”.
“There is too much entitlement and people think that they are owed a living and when they can’t get this free living they will do all of these things that are being done now to make an easy living,” she stated.
“I agree with taking care of vulnerable people, but I think that it is sometimes taken too far, this entitlement.”
The senator also said it was important for the public to be involved in trying to control all of these problems” and that Barbados “have to have confidence in those who are in control”.
This included the regulation of metal commerce, something which she observed seemed to be a growing problem.
“I applaud the effort to bring some regulation to the sale of precious metals and second hand metals. Obviously this has become very necessary because of the increase in crime that seems to be related to this business,” she stated.
“I recently heard of someone who was … in a line of traffic at a traffic light and had her arm on the ledge of her window and had a bracelet snatched off of it. There are people all around in broad daylight and this is the kind of thing that is happening.
“Obviously we have also heard about stealing from churches … and in Jamaica I was reading this morning about stealing from graves, so this thing is really serious. All of this shows a deterioration in values and in morals in our society,” Chandler added. (SC)