AG: No increase in crime
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has denied that crime is on the rise in the country, less than two weeks after announcing a 13 per cent increase for the first seven months of the year when compared to the same period last year.
In an update on Government’s crime fighting efforts to Democratic Labour Party (DLP) faithful at the party’s 60th annual conference Brathwaite said that statistically crime was on the decline, but Barbadians had a different impression because of an upsurge in violent criminal acts usually involving guns, and misleading information in the media.
“We need to get ahead of this misinformation curve,” he said at the party’s George Street headquarters, and singled out Reverend Charles Morris, a teacher; and University of the West Indies Lecturer, Dr Tennyson Joseph as chief among those peddling tales linking crime to DLP economic policies since 2008.
“People read these things and believe that if someone from university says it is true, and if a teacher . . . says it that it is true,” the AG said
“But it is not true because when I look at what has happened crime-wise in Barbados between 2008 and 2015 there has in fact not been any stark increase in crime over that period of time. In fact one just needs to look back at 2015 and one would have seen a 15 per cent decline in crime from the year before. There has been no escalation in crime between 2008 and today.[the] challenges that we have today and why we are all concerned is because of the nature of the crime that we are seeing, and in particular, gun-related crime.”
Brathwaite noted that Barbadians were concerned as a result of many pictures of accused young men and women being brought before the courts, charged with serious criminal offences, particularly murders. He revealed that of the 17 murders reported so far this year, 14 were gun-related.
“It is of great concern to us but it is untrue for anyone to write and suggest that it is linked directly to the policies of the Democratic Labour Party.”
Brathwaite called for a meeting of regional heads of government to deal with crime and security, telling the DLP conference delegates that he had already raised it with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who is the current CARICOM chairman.
While speaking in Parliament on August 11 on a resolution seeking approval to borrow $76 million for refurbishing and constructing new accommodation for members of the Royal Barbados Police Force [RBPF] and the magistracy over the next two years, Braithwaite said there was a 13 per cent rise in overall crime. He also said there was a rise in the number of gangs operating here. (GA)