Serious threat

Masqueraders and promoters directly involved in the Foreday Morning Jam are taking a threat to the event seriously, saying they were leaving nothing to chance.

At the same time they are putting their faith in the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to prevent any “disturbed characters” from disrupting the popular pre-Kadooment parade.

A chilling message which appeared on the social media message sharing platform Whatsapp, threatened a “bloody disruption” of the annual event, allegedly to avenge the murder of jockey Rico Reid 23, of Brittons Hill who was shot execution-style recently while waiting to board a cruise on the Jolly Roger.

The Whatsapp message that is the source of worry.

Police have since launched an investigation into the social media posting, promising that “all appropriate measures would be taken throughout the Crop Over season to provide a safe environment for all persons in association with other law enforcement agencies and private security.”

In the wake of the police statement, President of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders Chetwyn Stewart told
Barbados TODAY while he believed the island was relatively safe, the threat should not be taken lightly.

“I would think it is something that should be taken seriously and I am happy to hear that the police are taking it seriously. We are living in a different time all together nowadays, so anything like that should be taken seriously. Taking all the other incidents into consideration you have to,” Stewart stressed, adding that the participating bands were also encouraged “to have as much security as was possible to make their revellers feel safe”.

Chetwyn Stuart
Chetwyn Stuart

In an interview this morning, Stewart said he was concerned that potential overseas revellers could be turned off by the threat and a concerted effort was needed to assure the general public that the island remained safe, and that adequate security would be in place.

“When people from overseas hear this it would make them a little worried and tentative about coming. So I think we need to educate the public more. A lot of people still don’t realize what the festival really means and what it brings,” he said.

The head of the grouping of masqueraders stressed that the festival generates US$110 million and the point had to be made that the beneficiaries were not limited to entertainers and promoters.

Among those weighing in on the issue was Scrawl Up, which plans to participate in this year’s Foreday Morning revelry for only the second time, placing its trust in the police to apprehend those behind the threat.

“We trust the competence of the Royal Barbados Police Force who continue to effectively police large activities such as Foreday Morning jam. Any individuals who would spread rumour, or who would seek to incite any kind of violence to deter law abiding citizens from enjoying our Crop
Over festival, are disturbed characters. The powers that be can deal with them, we are confident about this,” the band said in an email response to questions posed by Barbados TODAY.

When contacted tonight, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley expressed confidence that the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) had the matter “under wraps”.

“The police are quite capable of handling these type of matters and I believe that we really have nothing to worry about,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley
Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley

Suggesting that the show will go on, Lashley also called patrons to have confidence in the safety record of Crop Over events.

“I know that at this time there have been some issues pertaining to lawlessness and  the use of guns and so on, [but] . . . I don’t think it should throw a damper over our
Crop Over celebrations,” Lashley said, while complimenting the Force for its prompt investigation of several recent criminal matters.

The Government spokesman also called on citizens to support the crime fighting and apprehension efforts of police, saying, “Though we can’t stop people from sending out messages, what we can do is to ensure that the police get the information and the culprits are brought to justice”.

Today, several Barbadians also aired their views on the matter via Facebook, many indicating that they were considering skipping the popular jam in light of the threats.

Paulette Noel wrote, “ I will not be attending Foreday for the first time. I prefer to be in my house this year while it going on. I took what they post serious.”

Ryan Bayne, in response to Noel, said, “As the incarcerated Reggae singer Buju Banton once sang 21 years ago, ‘Who can afford to run will run/ What about those who can’t? They will have to stay’. In these dreadful times, it is best to be safe than sorry.”

Sharon Taylor suggested that the allegations be taken seriously and called on the police
to investigate.

“All I saw was someone spreading rumours! The police have to investigate not only because of public safety, but also because this [little] island depends heavily on our Crop Over visitors. If there is no proof to these allegations, the person that typed them should be charged! Simple.”

‘Keisha RS’ added, “People spend way to much money to fly in for this nonsense. Barbados will soon lose its only resource which is tourism if this isn’t fixed.”

16 Responses to Serious threat

  1. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley June 22, 2016 at 10:38 am


  2. Ferreira Claude
    Ferreira Claude June 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Bring out the entire army too

  3. ch June 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Good. Our people have the right to enjoy themselves safely and the time may come when some communities in Barbados will have to be put on curfew to protect the majority because it is not just the criminals but the persons in those communities who enable them. Then talk foolishness about “outsiders”.
    As an aside, the NCF must review this entire Crop-Over Festival. Too much emphasis on party, party, party. Is it a music festival? Nothing wrong with fun and celebration but the history and traditional Barbadian culture is lost. Crop-Over is rooted in sugar . Where are the guided tours of the sugar plantations and factories?Where are the culinary events presenting the foods of that time? Is there no place for theater?
    Have a puppets n’ play event for kids where they can meet historical characters in costume strolling through the venue; watch puppet shows; sample healthy local foods and play rounders, skipping, hopscotch and ring games which are now relics of the past, like the sugar industry. Just an idea.
    How about a Transport Board scenic ride/ picnic along a route relevant to the sugar industry eg. Mount Gay, St. Nicholas Abbey, Morgan Lewis?
    These are all types of activities that should be available to our children, families and persons of different ages and interests. Including visitors who come specifically for Crop-Over.
    I stand corrected if such events are already in place and I haven’t heard.
    But everyone is not about bashment nor after-hours events so a more holistic approach is needed.

  4. jrsmith June 22, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Minister of sports this man is a joker (RBPF) have the matter under wraps , bajans better not take this to heart, this man is not going to be effected by this if anything goes wrong..

    The great big Uncle Sam just got another hit , these people who is threatening violence should not be taken lightly, the Barbados police force should start rounding up certain people , searching they homes they cars friends and family,

    Mr, Lashey thinks this kind of threat is a bottle throwing incident he is living in la, la , land. People are soft targets anyway in the world , nowhere is safe no one can guarantee any ones safety, security forces can only do the best they can..good luck to our Polices Force.

  5. dave June 22, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I have been going to Foreday Morning from the start of the event many years ago but I will be keeping far from Foreday Morning this time around. I am not trusting these idiots . There are too many guns in the Red Sea ( Deacons) and too many in Labanon (Brittons Hill) There are just too many Guns . How will the Police stop a man from getting in a crowd and firing off a weapon. Not me Bosie !!! I aint want no part of Foreday Morning and I have other events of similar nature under serious consideration. I do not care what the Police say. The Government of the day must take the blame. No clear policies to solve any problems.

  6. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor June 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Stupse…. Wunna fa real! Over a silly rumour! Man look…. D police getting turned around, stop looking into who bringing in d guns and selling them, and start looking for a non-existent threat in Brittons hill! Guns still flowing!

  7. BaJan boy June 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Agree with you Dave same with me. There is no way that he can tell bajans they are safe without even knowing what the threat is and bajans should be very careful. The RBPF will do everything to keep things under control but cannot be every where and at that time f night in almost turtle darkness these idiots we have now have the opportunity to do what they feel like. Minister like the Attorney General are two top shelf idiots who just speak for a conversation and little substance. God help with these clowns we have for DEMS.

  8. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce June 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    ‘Serious threat’ Parents need to have a good talk with their young people. Explain how important Tourism is to Barbados, the island will have a number of visitors that return to BIM annually for Crop Over season. Times are hard as it is. Don’t cut off wunna nose to spoil wunna features or bite the hand that feed you. Everything going on in Bim is broad cast on social media the press does put the good deeds on the back burner and publish the Bad and the ugly. If wunna decide to put on idiot head expect to face the consequences for wunna actions from the law. Do foolishness and follow the wrong crowd the law gine deal with wunna and don’t bother calling me. If wunna can’t find something positive to do go in wunna bed and sleep. The RBPF are there to serve and protect. Parents and the community have to play their part report any concerns to the police. Don’t wait for Jack Ass to make it’s way to Spring Garden highway and then close the stable gate.
    All law abiding citizens and tourist try and be vigilant at all times and enjoy all Crop Over 2016 events including Foreday Morning Jam.

  9. Maria June 22, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    If anyone know something say something. Communities are lost when people think that it’s not their problem.

  10. eddy murray June 22, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    If everybody is acting what you all expect not a script for a movie?

  11. Mark Fenty
    Mark Fenty June 22, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    If the RBPF can’t handle this little threat how will it handle a real terrorist threat if it does occur?

  12. dave June 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    LOL -eddy murphy -, oh eddie murray
    Right on ! Baje — (Bajanboy)

  13. BoboTheClown June 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    When a fool speaks ,wise men listen . When a wise speaks, a fool interrupt the conversation .
    Barbados has quite a few fools in its midst right now, and a word to the wise should be ,don’t take a fool lightly because fools don’t feel responsible for they foolishness .
    The wise give thought before acting, while a fool act first and later think about what they could have done differently.

  14. jrsmith June 23, 2016 at 6:03 am

    No gun threat is to be taken lightly, no where is safe you say what you like but you just hope ,when that gun is fired you are not in that area where ever it may be.. I am in the UK at the moment and if I heard they might be a shooting at the top end of the street where I live I aint even looking out my window…

  15. Roger Gibbons June 24, 2016 at 2:15 am

    I am sure the police will eventually find the person from whom the message originated. We in Barbados have to take to reject this nonsense. The same way a former mayor of New York cleaned it up we have got to clean our country without fear or favour.

  16. dave June 24, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    The Fact of the matter is that there are GUNS in abundance in Barbados. Case Closed. The Government -of the day -clueless Government must take the blame.


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