Gun study on the cards

A study of gun crimes and the extent and nature of gun violence in Barbados from 2010 to the present is to be undertaken by the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit (CJRPU).

Noting that the study will be conducted during this financial year and into the 2016/2017 financial year, Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit Cheryl Willoughby said the primary aim of the study was to determine the extent of the problem on the island and seek ways to address it.

Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit Cheryl Willoughby.
Director of the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit Cheryl Willoughby.

“We will be specifically looking to our research to identify and categorise the number of incidents of gun violence in Barbados over a five year period,” she said.

She explained that Barbados could not wait until the problem got out of hand before something was done about the situation, and therefore a strategic, scientific approach was needed to determine “who, what, where, when and why” such crimes were taking place.

Willoughby said the study would seek to identify the number of guns and ammunition found and seized by police; the geographical pool of the gun violence to determine whether it was happening in rural or urban Barbados; and the weapon of choice being used in burglaries and to commit other criminal offences over the last five years.

It will also focus on perpetrators of crimes to determine whether or not they knew the victim; if there were predatory crimes (if persons were actually sitting and waiting and ambushing people); or whether or not the incidents were related to some sort of dispute and persons knew each other and were trying to resolve a conflict by using such levels of violence.

In addition, it will also examine the profiles of legitimate gun dealers in Barbados to see whether or not guns are entering the island through legitimate dealers, or coming into the island through other means.

“We will be looking to trace these guns in terms of serial numbers, and we will be really looking at persons who are convicted of gun-related offences,” Willoughby said.

She explained this would be done through three case studies, which would examine the profile of persons and the demographics of those convicted for a crime.

“After we have garnered all the information that we need from the study, we would be able to present it to the Attorney General because he has the responsibility to look at policy and legislation to address issues coming out of our research,” she noted.

The Director further stated that the CJRPU was also looking at programmes within the school system and communities to educate young people about guns and violent crimes and how to avoid becoming involved.

“The Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit has started a “No Witness, No Justice Programme” within the schools. The objective of this is for young people to get an idea of the criminal justice system, and to recognise the importance of reporting crimes to the police,” Willoughby explained.

She stressed that it was important for citizens to recognise that they had a civic responsibility to report incidents of violence to the police. The Director urged persons to realise that while it may not be their problem today, it could impact their families or neighbourhoods at a later date.

“It is important to be proactive and cooperate with the police and report matters when they come to your attention. …We cannot do it alone. We need every single Barbadian working to make this country a better place,” she insisted.

Source: (BGIS)

5 Responses to Gun study on the cards

  1. Donna November 11, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I have respect for Cheryl Willoughby’s efforts but when she has finished her study the only way politicians will address the problem is with words. They will give an address expressing concern. That is all.

    Reply
  2. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner November 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Another waste of taxpayer money because this study gine be like every other study in Barbados lots of stupid talk with fancy words but no results after its finish.

    Reply
  3. H.McGregor November 11, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    She explained that Barbados could not wait until the problem got out of hand before something was done about the situation. ???

    Reply
  4. Sue Donym November 12, 2015 at 4:00 am

    “… the study would seek to identify the number of guns and ammunition found and seized by police…” Doesn’t this mean that the police already have this info?
    CJRPU is also “looking at programmes within the school system and communities to educate young people about guns and violent crimes and how to avoid becoming involved.” So you’re only ‘looking at’ preventative programmes while it’s already clear that the problems exist, ‘looking to trace… guns’ and ‘looking at persons… convicted’.

    Okay, so they will study gun violence ‘from 2010 to the present’ – does ‘present’ in this sense mean to 2015 or do we dare hope that since the study is expected to continue into 2016-2017 year that the study will include data that will identify developing trends?

    If any of the study data can predict and help to prevent, CJRPU would have achieved something, but if the effort is to collate what’s already known, please save the paper.

    Any citizen can tell you the extent and nature of the problem – it’s bad and getting worse; it’s injuring and killing people; it’s straining Police, hospital, court and prison resources; it’s benefiting funeral homes and counsellors; it’s mostly young males killing and being killed when the involved persons are known to each other; it’s anybody anywhere when the motive is robbery. I’ll let you know where to send my cheque. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Alex 3 November 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Meanwhile the US government has issued travel advisories to Barbados due to the incease in gun related violence.
    For most of the last half decade anyone who reads the press re Barbados crime could tell you that the triumverate of circumstances leading to gun violence is present in Barbados and another 2 years of ducking by the government will only result in an exacerbation of the situation.
    Drugs are the root of most of this but their cousin, poverty is alive and well in Barbados as people get desperate to find the means to exist. The unemployed have no prestige and sense of self worth so with crime comes a sense of power and bragging rights.
    The government and the courts have to bare down on this now otherwise tourism will again fall off and make the situation worse.
    I know that tourists are part of the drug problem. Many do things while traveling they would not consider doing at home.
    A stint in HMP Dodds over the summer and fall months would be a different vacation for those who support the criminal element.
    More delay is not what is needed. The data is there and easily accessed. What is there to study? Get on with enforcement.

    Reply

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