BCCI’s crime concerns

President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Tracey Shuffler is warning authorities and business leaders to do all they can to restore the island’s reputation as a safe place to do business, in light of a recent spate of robberies.

“The people of this country may be under considerable financial and social pressures but our global reputation for civility, the undergirding of our economy and social stability, must not be squandered,” Shuffler warned in her BCCI October Newsletter.

She pointed out that some five years ago when it was noted that Barbadians underestimated the appeal of the island as a “relatively safe haven for business operations”, it did not occur that it would become necessary to protect that reputation some years on.

Tracey Shuffler
Tracey Shuffler, BCCI president

“Whatever the level of crime in a country, the public alarm seems directly related to how accustomed or unaccustomed we are to such incidents. Truly this recent level of gun related crime and robbery has come as a shock to many Barbadians, particularly citizens who have no other point of reference like those who may have lived in other countries in the region and beyond in which robbery and gun violence is a more common part of the landscape,” Shuffler said.

She recalled speaking with some regional investors earlier this year, who were looking to potentially invest in Barbados. Shuffler said they were aware of the “sluggish economy” and they knew the projected growth rates were not impressive but they felt they had a business formula that would work and which would allow them an acceptable return.

“Then came the discussion about security. ‘This is a stable country, it has its challenges but we feel safe when we do business here. We can’t say the same for home’. While I won’t say to which country they refer as home, the message is clear; in Barbados we have had a plus when it comes to security of business assets. Our staff, our customers and our physical assets are paramount to business growth and development and must be able to be kept safe,” Shuffler cautioned.

And stating that while the regional and global competitiveness indices do not often site security as a measurement component, Shuffler said it weighed “heavily” in the consideration of many investors “and we cannot afford to lose what has been a hallmark of Barbadian stability”.

She said the BCCI was doing what it could to help protect the island’s reputation as a safe place to do business, and pointed out that several partnerships have been formed including those with LED Lighting, to improve lighting especially in The City.

“We look forward to a launch of this initiative shortly so do stay tuned,” Shuffler said.

“The Chamber also continues to work with the Royal Barbados Police Force officials in advising our members to do all that they can within their control to minimize the security risks in their businesses,” she added.
Shufller urged business operators to, wherever possible, ensure lighting was adequate on and around their premises, use cameras in “vulnerable areas” and as required within the operations of the company, employ the services of well-trained security personnel both to protect people on the compound and the premises; use professionals for cash transport and deposits; train employees in cash and valuables handling in operations; as well as work with police officials to enhance all aspects of security related to their business.

The Chamber president also advised that where possible business operators participate in community activities and ensure that their business are allies to their security efforts.

7 Responses to BCCI’s crime concerns

  1. Sue Donym October 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    As this sickening trend seems not to be easing, it is hoped that Police will establish a presence in the area for the sake of people who go about their legitimate business, whether workers, commuters or strollers, be they locals or visitors.

    • Olutoye Walrond October 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      “…a presence in the area”? Which area would that be, Sue? All over Barbados?

      • Sue Donym October 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

        Not sure how this happened. this comment was posted in response to ‘stabbing death’ in Nursery Drive/John Beckles area

  2. Tony Webster October 10, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Help your fellow man, in a Christian and compassionate way, to the fullest extent of your ability. If he/she needs more help than you humanly can provide as an individual, then direct him to a helping NGO, or social entity, or to the approprate government facility.

    If he still needs more help, and is a real and present threat to himself and to society…call 1-800-TIPS.

    Help our police force…to help us.

  3. seagul October 11, 2015 at 5:59 am

    This recent level of gun related crime and robbery has come as a shock to the many Barbadians whose bellies are full. We have so called wonderful politicians. You have people that are serving in many capacities—but if you look at the condition of the masses of our people it remains the same.The two political parties maintain the same neo-colonial mindset. Even if a politician might mean good— the system is broken..and that system of governance needs to change.

  4. jrsmith October 11, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Why in Barbados ,people who have the chance of using the media to express they frustration always , fail to point the finger directly at the people who are the responsible ones for our island failure. the individual members of government. why are they scared to do so.

  5. Alex3 October 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I have been coming to Barbados since 1980 and have always felt comfortable about my personal safety recognizing that I have traveled the world on business and have developed a sense of situational awareness even at home.
    There are three issues now prevalent in my home away from home:

    – the driving so PSV vehicles and to a lesser degree Blue bus drivers
    – drugs, which inevitably leads to
    – guns

    Barbados must come to grips with these issues through tough effective, enforcement with harsh penalties and a court system that is timely and not easily persuaded by lazy lawyers seeking deferments because they are not ready to try a case. In addition there needs to be sentencing guidelines judges must follow to avoid some of the light sentences of recent years.

    A number of years ago following hurricane Hugo Paradise Island experience unprecedented crime which was traced to workers who came clean up but stayed on.
    Some locals grab three of them, four tires and a can of gasoline.
    On the. Beach it was demonstrated how a tire filled with gas burns and the question asked about how it would feel if the burning tire was worn as a necklace.
    The message was delivered. 2 left the island, 1 stayed but the crime wave ended.
    Vigilanteism? Yes. Harsh? Yes. Effective? Undoubtedly.
    The courts need to send a similar message if Barbados is to remain the destination it has always been.


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