‘There are gangs in Barbados, but don’t panic’
Former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons is cautioning the authorities to keep an eye on gangs operating here.
“Don’t let us fool ourselves that they do not exist, but do not let us panic because they are not at the same level of sophistication as in other parts of the Caribbean. That is why I am saying that the Royal Barbados Police Force has a responsibility to keep these gangs under surveillance and monitor them and when necessary act,” the retired jurist said on the radio talk show Down To Brass Tacks on Starcom Network, where he appeared Monday as a guest.
In fact, Sir David recalled that as far back as the late 1980s he went on record in the House of Assembly indicating that there were gangs in Barbados, but he was not taken seriously.
He contended that gangs here were part of the criminal sub-culture which must be kept under constant surveillance and dealt with firmly.
He also stressed that even though the gangs here lacked the sophistication of those in Trinidad and Tobago, some of them were connected to other criminal networks within the region.
To support his argument of a wider Caribbean connections, Sir David cited a case where a notorious drug lord from St Michael was murdered a few years ago and his body left in a cart. He said reports had indicated that he was dealt with by criminals from either Jamaica or Colombia.
Meantime, the former Attorney General said crime in the Caribbean region was at an all-time high, with countries which did not have any to speak about now reporting high levels of crime which was creating fear among communities.
Arguing that countries could not deal with crime in a knee-jerk way, Sir David suggested that policymakers needed to continue research into the causes of crime.
The former Barbados Labour Party legislator indicated that young men between the ages of 15 and 25 remained a source of concern for policymakers, recalling that a senior police officer in Jamaica had reported that a lot of people involved in crime in that country were uneducated, unemployed and unemployable.
Addressing the issue of guns, Sir David said that a number of illegal firearms were imported into the Caribbean in appliances from the United States.