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Crime up

Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith today announced an increase in crime last year when compared to 2014, saying the rise was partly attributed to gun-related violence.

In an address this morning at the opening of a two-day crime symposium for police managers at the Regional Police Training Centre at Seawell, Christ Church, Griffith did not reveal the overall crime rate for 2015 but chose instead to concentrate on the positive, boasting that despite the rise, the country did better last year in terms of the crime rate than it did in 2013.

“Our record of achievements include our ability over the past two years to maintain crime levels at their lowest within the past 15 years. It must be noted, though there was an increase in crime last year, this comes against the performance, where there was a record of 14 per cent decrease in crime the previous year,” the top cop said.

“Indeed, to put it another way, in effect, in 2015 we recorded a 6.3 per cent decrease in crime over the recorded rates in 2013.”

The acting commissioner said this was not an easy accomplishment, but that it was one in which all Barbadians could take comfort and it allowed the country to enjoy the reputation of being a safe destination for all.

He gave the assurance that the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) would not sit on its success and would work to drive down the numbers ever further.

“Though these are achievements of which we are greatly proud, we never intend to rest on our laurels. But instead, we remain committed to the search for more creative ways to improve our successes, while at the same time taking corrective action to strengthen our weaknesses,” Griffith told participants, among them operational inspectors, station sergeants, unit heads and operational sergeants.

Turning his attention to the worrying influx of imported illegal firearms, the acting commissioner emphasized that the RBPF needed the cooperation of all other law enforcement agencies in order to effectively address this major problem.

He said the Force had been doing its best to contain the number of guns on the streets, having seized 65 firearms last year, 30 more than the previous year. However, he insinuated that the police were having difficulty stemming the flow of illegal guns into the country.

“As we seized these firearms, we observed that they are pouring into the country at an extremely high rate.

“Here in Barbados we see the continued negative impact of gun-related crime as noted by the loss of life and the use of firearms to commit other crimes,” he said.

Griffith called for “full public discussion, collaboration and participation” in formulating a response to the challenge and appealed to Barbadians for support in curbing “the continued unfettered access to, and use of illegal firearms”.   

He also pleaded with stakeholders to review their security apparatus in order to identify and close loopholes that were being exploited by the criminals.

“Such an intervention is required for the preservation of an environment necessary for sustainable economic activity to help halt the continual loss of human capital to violent crime and to drastically reduce the debilitating fear of crime,” Griffith contended.

The acting commissioner recommended that the outcome of the symposium should form the foundation for future analyses, provide more opportunities for consultation with stakeholders and lend to the further development of a more proactive style of policing.

In an update to the media in August, Griffith spoke of an “abundance” of illegal weapons here, which he said were entering Barbados “through legitimate ports of entry” and were creating an untenable situation.

“From an investigative view point, it is clear that there is an abundance of high calibre weapons and large quantities of available ammunition on the streets. What is also clear is that [those] weapons are not lawfully manufactured in Barbados and the wider region, so they are being smuggled into the island. Our intelligence suggests they are coming through legitimate ports of entry, either assisted by officials, or not detected by them at our borders,” he said at the time.

The top law enforcement officer also said then that the perception of crime in Barbados did not match the reality,

“You would have heard elsewhere that there was a 13 per cent increase in crime at the end of July 2015, over the said period for 2014. I think it is important to put this into context, not to adjust it. The impression could be given that this increase has been in respect of serious crimes and that is surely not the case,” the Commissioner said at the time in reference to the an earlier disclosure in Parliament by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite that crime had gone down.

Griffith had explained that at the end of July 2015 there were 4782 cases, compared to 4312 for the corresponding period in 2014. He stated that while this represented an increase of 470 cases – or ten per cent – serious crimes contributed very little to that number.

At the time, the police chief also blamed the rise in crime on the upsurge in drug cases, explaining that the number of cases related to murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated burglaries and burglaries were all down when compared to 2014.

There were 30 murders in 2015, three more than the previous year.

11 Responses to Crime up

  1. Terry Phillips
    Terry Phillips January 20, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Sooooooo wasn’t crime down last year. Who knows. I can’t keep track anymore

  2. Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams January 20, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Lol, crime was always up like de cost ah living…..especially under dis nitwick dlp govamunt.

  3. Hunte Omar
    Hunte Omar January 20, 2016 at 2:50 am

    Not surprising to hear the Acting Commissioner announcement about crime up last year. And the thugs responsible are the five hundred young men, on remand at Dodds Prison. I go about my business in Barbados night and day, and don’t feel a sense of fear. There are certain elements, engaging in criminal activity, and creating a false impression that our streets are not safe. For example, Security Guards are unarmed and execute their function in a normal manner. Other employees do the same.

  4. Honest January 20, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I am not a pessimist, but, what this tells me is that crime in Barbados is steady. I don’t necessarily trust his assessment. I think that for such a small nation, our murder rate is still too high. I think we need to find ways to tackle recidivism- then law officers, psychologists and educators would have to work hand in hand.

  5. Menace II Babylon January 20, 2016 at 9:44 am

    They always report on blue collar crime. Not all robbers/thieves use the vast qualities of high powered calibre firearms. Not all scoundrels use the vast amount of munition to their disposal. They use policies, retirement packages and a signature on the dotted lion to violate and rape you financially. The bogus 300 million + on failed government projects and whilst we being truthful why not talk about government corruption. They continue to commit these abhorrent offences on the save now for later principles and I can assure you not a firearm was involved. Please comment Sherlock Holmes on the rampant under reported WHITE COLLAR crime where this government and previous have ignored, under reported , statical evidenced based day light robbery of our citizens under financial clauses. Don’t be guided to think only of home invasions, gun in your face pass it type of offences. It would be worth the citizens time to see The Royal Barbados Police Force Fraud Squad and the Financial Investigations Unit statistics on prosecution, convictions and acquired sentencing guidelines……Since we talking about crime….

    All of we ain’t guided by doctored/plagiarised statistics.

    The highest cost of living in Caricom what do u expect?

  6. Alex Alleyne January 20, 2016 at 10:28 am

    May be it’s the left over hardware from the war in the Middle East.
    P/S………Where there are DRUGS you will sure find GUNS .BARBADOS got a DRUG culture.

    • Donild Trimp January 20, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Guns and Drugs.

      Any Bajan worth his or her salt knows how these guns and drugs are entering the island.

      Why are we allowing this to continue. We need some more Dirty Harry’s on the force.

      Menace 11 Babylon also raised some good points.

      Let the authorities stop talking and start enforcing the law of the land.

  7. jrsmith January 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Acting ,Commissionaire of Police, continuously, insisting , that they is corruption at our sea and airport. but nothing is said , by our Priminister or Attorney General.. Drugs and Guns, drugs is always discovered at the airport, people are charged , off they go to DODDS. Rarely drugs are seize at the Bridgetown port, never heard guns are found at the seaport, really guns at Sir, Grantley but still Barbados is awash with guns..

    Mr, Attorney General the ball is in your court, you de law giver and maker , if you understand your job, to the world a senior officer ,of the Barbados Police has said his peace, prove him wrong.. I don’t believe statics about crime, because everyone who a criminal act upon them ,do not report the same…

    Hear about this bajan customs officer, who was living beyond his salaried level, guest what he was caught , got a lot of years in prison in London…its easy to catch them.. everybody seems to be at it in Barbados, the airport workers , reselling , cigarettes , taken from passengers, no one sacked , case close , so bajans seems not to look forward , for any changes in the near future..

  8. Tony Waterman January 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    @Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith!!!! Come on !!!! you are Sucking and Blowing at the same time, and we all know thats NOT Possible. if Crime is up, can you PLEASE Explain to us Fools how you have arrived at the conclusion that Crime is ALSO Down ???? For instance, there were 30 Murders in 2015, 27 murders in 2014 that is +3 Murders year over Year, how can you record that as being Down. ??
    i am assuming here that the following figures represent TOTAL Crime, Serious and Not Serious.

    at the end of July 2015 there were 4782 cases,

    at the end of July 2014 there were 4312 cases,
    That to me Means an increase of +470

    A 10% Increase, whether they are serious or not ,is irrelevant, that is still an increase in Crime, NOT A DECREASE. are we to assume that only Murders and Shootings etc are crimes ??
    My Suggestion for you Sir, is to have your Charges treat ALL Crimes as Crimes, and stop Categorising them as Major and Minor, because in a lot if Instances Minor will become Major, and that could perhaps have been avoided if attention was paid to the Crime when it was Minor.

    A Happy New Year to you and your Charges, May the Good Lord Bless you all and keep you all Safe and Productive always

  9. Tony Waterman January 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    @Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith!!!! i forgot to mention that Statistics as we see here in this article, can be used to produce any desired outcome.

    “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”Mark Twain

  10. Alex 3 January 26, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Seems to be a lot of double talk in all this trying to turn a negative to a positive.
    Face it, they are expected to reduce crime year over year so saying that an increase in the crime rate is ok because they are still ahead of 2013 tells me they are going backwards.
    Unemployment and poverty forces people to find a way to live and eat. Drugs and guns make both a hell of a lot easier.


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