Private sector supports calls for discussion on crime

The private sector is throwing its support behind a call by the country’s largest public sector trade union for a national discussion on crime and violence.

General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Roslyn Smith yesterday revealed that she had raised the issue with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the Social Partnership, called to discuss economic matters, including the vexing National Social Responsibility Levy.

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) said the NUPW’s recommendation was a good one, given the seriousness of the situation.

“I do echo the general secretary’s comments that if this is what’s necessary then we in the Chamber will be all for it because crime is bad of business. There is no other way to sell it. We would be very keen to see this matter not only aired, but solutions brought about and put into place as soon as possible,” BCCI President Eddy Abed told Barbados TODAY.

“We’re going into a season in another two months where we can’t have these dark clouds of crime hanging over us. This is just not good for the country as a whole and of course not good for us . . . the opportunity for us to earn more foreign exchange,” he stressed in reference to the tourism season.

Meantime, Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association Charles Herbert said rising crime could have far-reaching consequences for the country.

“Crime obviously affects business. It affects tourism . . . . I think that we see the private sector’s role in the fight against crime as one of being supportive [of the other agencies involved in the fight]. It is not something that we feel we have any special talent or special knowledge above all of the other NGOs that are involved in the island,” Herbert said.

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