It’s a border issue

This island’s police chief has put his finger on possible reasons for a disturbing influx of illegal guns and their easy availability, two key factors behind a rise in firearm-related burglaries during the first quarter of the year.

Following a special meeting held today with members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), acting Commissioner Tyrone Griffith blamed the ease with which pleasure boats and fishing vessels can come and go without proper checks. He also cited a need for greater collaboration between the police and Customs.

Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith
Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith

“Our borders are extremely porous. . .  our ports,” he told Barbados TODAY. “Obviously there is need for greater collaboration at our ports in terms of police and Customs. There is need for much greater collaboration. But generally, the ports are porous.”

The top cop was critical of the ease with which fishing boats can come and go and the lack of adequate checks of pleasure yachts which dock at Port St Charles and Port Ferdinand in St Peter. “. . .that scrutiny is not what it ought to be,” he said.

“[Guns] are coming in all forms and fashion. By courier, you see it coming in television sets, both at air and sea ports. In car parts. Those things,” the acting commissioner complained.

Asked if he could put his finger on what really needs to be done to deal with the problem, Griffith replied: “We are tackling it from the point of view of checks. We are relying heavily on intelligence and we are also doing appropriate checks of vehicles and so forth.  . . . We are trying to work closely with Customs and Immigration, but we obviously need far better collaboration there.”

The police chief suggested that the Customs Department change its focus as another means of assisting in the fight against firearm imports. “We need to have Customs thinking more about enforcement,” he said.

Griffith mentioned random vehicle checks as another measure the Force had implemented in its efforts to find illegal guns. “That is ongoing.  There are checks as we speak, daily. There are checks and we also are relying heavily on intelligence. We are getting intelligence and we are working with that intelligence to go after individuals,”he said.

10 Responses to It’s a border issue

  1. jr smith April 25, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Mr,Griffith, don’t make yourself look stupid, you are the big cheese, you are the boss man, get your fingers out and do what’s necessary to bring those low life criminal to justice.
    Who are you scared of, if you don’t do this no one from the so call government is going to do anything. just get on with it , expose what and who needs to be expose,
    You will get your support from the decent people of Barbados.

    • wayne dread April 25, 2015 at 8:46 am

      What do you mean by the “so called government ” its the police job to apprehend criminals and curb criminal activity, finally we have someone who is willing to look at the open door policy of the fort st charles area, and its vulnerability to contraband. What I find disturbing is how the media handles these issues, when concerned citizens attempt to address these issues, the posts are edited or censored..

  2. Kay Critchlow
    Kay Critchlow April 25, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Offer huge rewards, the info would come then.

  3. Terry Clarke
    Terry Clarke April 25, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Intelligence is great, however I recall a judge making a statement, which he said “all I am seeing coming before the law courts are the small guys, I have not seen any of the king pins”.

  4. Tony Webster April 25, 2015 at 5:51 am

    For the umpteenth time: Use “sting” operations. Go undercover. Buy one and trace it all the way back to source. Get the Big Fish …I mean, the Big Guns involved. They are greedy and will take a bunch of numbered/ marked “Grantleys” just like any other greedy thug.

  5. Alex Alleyne April 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Not now , for years it was said thats where the guns are coming into BDS. Now the Island is flooded and people dropping like dead flies from gun-shot wounds . BDS need to put a system in place where only the POLICE and the DEFENCE FORCE will carry guns all others will be sent to the 5 star hotel at DODDS city for 5 years if caught with a fire-arm .
    NO-IF’s , BUT’s , or AND’s . …… jail you go .
    Matters fixed.

  6. Mac10 April 25, 2015 at 10:17 am

    That’s why I question the connection between the Knight case & the harassment of the customs officer. Was there info PC Gittens & his buddies did want coming out relating to gun smuggling?

  7. Bernard and India Walker April 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    That Radar app. The one every uses to spy on their neighbors. The mice and insect finder program. Can spot a boat in the night. If put a bounty on the guns if turned in. Then this is half your battle

  8. dave April 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    The Customs Department is headed by a someone who knows nothing about Customs matters. An Accountant and not a Law Enforcement person who never worked in the Customs and has no experience or knowledge in Customs matters. This is a fact that can be easily checked. The Customs have undermined its effectiveness by placing persons with degrees in positions while discarding Officers who have the institutional knowledge and experience in the job. Junior Officers have assumed positions 4 and 5 times above their grade only because they might have a Degree gained at University or Online and their only concern seem to be dollars. A lot of foolishness is happening at that the Department and as a professional who has had to deal with Customs over the years because of my importing business of 30 years, I am aghast at what is happening in the Customs Department. The proposed move to the BRA is bad one. BRA is undermining effectiveness of Revenue Collection in Barbados. The Customs Department need to be handed back to the Customs Officers. Take back Captain Randolph Straughn to the Department with strong guidelines as to his role , FBI or not , as a Consultant to straighten things out or the Department will be Destroyed and the Country will suffer and is suffering as a result –with all these Guns coming in. The Government is to be blamed for the sordid situation.

  9. Maxine Hutchinson April 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I wrote a letter to the Chief Education Officer sometime last year which contained suggestions in respect of the re-vamping of our schools curricula from the nursery to the secondary level. I made mention of topics such as: Parenting, Civics, Humanitarianism, Ecology and World Religions.

    There are persons who can design lesson plans for such courses – they may not be teachers but they would be aptly able to offer skeleton lesson plans which the teachers can then modify to suit the age-level of the pupils or students.

    Unless we adopt this approach, we are doomed and in a short time, as Barbadians, we will become the foreigners in our own country. Aside – for starters, take a look at the products being sold in a certain group of supermarkets. Barbadian products are given higher mark-up prices and those from another land are marked with lower prices. There is no doubt that people will choose the cheaper product from the other country but in time, what will happen to our Barbadian businesses? The writing is on the wall.

    Again, if we do not try to begin a turn around in the minds of our young people via our educational system and by extension in the churches, the “strongman” will be bounded and taken over. This course of action will begin – and have begun already with the mental poisoning of our young people who are our adults of tomorrow and the future “craftsmen of our fate”. Barbadians, you have been warned again. STOP ASSISTING FOREIGNERS TO DESTROY OUR CHILDREN BECAUSE THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THE MONEY YOU EARN TO DO SO WILL BE OF NO USE TO YOU!!!

    When you want to take over the house of a strong man you first have to bind him [and his family, inclusive of his offspring]. Our offspring has become easy prey to be “bounded” by those with much hatred, anger and a thirst for wealth by any means necessary.


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