We need to urgently stop the bleeding!

The United Progressive Party is committed to building a better country; one where Barbadians may not only imagine, but aspire to realizing their full potential in a fully developed country. It is critical to our continued progress that our citizens can enjoy and participate in our democracy without fearing for their lives or those of their families.

In recent months, we have witnessed an alarming increase in instances of gun-related crime. The tragic events of August 7, 2017 at Grand Kadooment, which lead to the death of one man and injury of innocent bystanders, has underscored the need for urgent  action.

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to all those who have been affected by this recent spate of violent crime.

Barbados has set very high standards for itself especially in the safety of its people and their guests. Clearly there are now those among us who stand in contempt of these high standards. These individuals display a reckless disregard for their fellow citizens and seem unrepentant in profiting from the illegal importation and sale of guns the direct result of which is the loss of life.

The Progressive Party acknowledges that the Royal Barbados Police Force has initiated a number of measures to address rising crime and we commend them for their efforts. It however seems as though those efforts are being severely compromised by what may be described at best, as a lack of cooperation among stakeholders.

We do not wish to spread despondency and alarm but clearly the crime situation is escalating.

While in the past gun-related crime seemed to have been limited to those who engaged in some level of criminal activity, recently it has spilled over into the society to affect ordinary Barbadians carrying on their ordinary lives.

The trite statement that Barbados does not manufacture the weapons being used to terrorize Barbadians is worth repeating. This takes us directly to the issue of border security.

We acknowledge that Barbados is an island and therefore has difficulty in securing every beach. However, uncorroborated statements suggest that our recognized ports of entry have been compromised and that this has been so for some time.

There is a perceived break down in law and order when there is a proliferation of illegal guns on our streets and yet there is only very limited arrest and prosecution of individuals involved in the illegal gun trade.

International standards need to be implemented, including where necessary extraordinary measures to ensure that law enforcement can investigate and collect the evidence to secure arrest, charge, trial and conviction. If Government must invoke its powers to increase the number of security personnel manning our borders they must do so now.

Barbadians have also felt aggrieved by a judicial system which is perceived as slow at prosecuting those arrested and charged. For decades Barbados has struggled to transition from an antiquated system in dispensing justice. Accelerating the implementation of court technology must be made a priority.

The Progressive Party also recommends reducing some of the matters before the court by implementing community mediation to resolve conflicts between neighbours and family and to resolve matters of maintenance of children. We also support the introduction of an administrative ticketing system for minor traffic offences. This would leave the court free to deal with many of the more pressing issues before it.

Two key policy platforms of the Progressive Party are education reform and rebuilding our communities. These are long term solutions but must be pursued with equal vigour as those which might satiate our immediate hunger for action.

It is clear that many of our young people do not have the technical or life skills necessary for them to face the world in which they are meant to thrive. This makes them easy prey for individuals who would seek to use them to carry out attacks on others. This will be addressed through extensive curriculum adjustment.

The maxim that “it takes a village to raise a child” has been one of the elements making up the fabric of our society. There has however been an evolution in how we live and work and thus the village in many instances no longer exists. We need to rebuild this precept through strengthening our community based groups by directing technical assistance and other resources to them. We must give our youth the option of positive social organizations which meet their needs.

Ultimately the state in which we find ourselves is as a result of increasingly poor governance. The thread of corruption which begins to weave its way through our democracy upon the call of every election and now ends with the loss of life in our country must be halted. The Progressive Party is willing to stand with all those willing to take urgent action to pull Barbados back from the precipice.

Source: (Maria Phillips)

3 Responses to We need to urgently stop the bleeding!

  1. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose August 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Really you have the tools hanging 35 years on prison for gun violence.
    Thats the cure all this bloviatin is unnecessary, use the tools.

    Reply
  2. jrsmith August 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Nothing new thats not the issue , as much as we have gun crime, as much as we have the bajan politicians out of control , who the hell is worst our crooked politicians or the guns, our people is scared of the politicians and frighten of the 1%…………………….

    Bajan people must get they fingers out ,stop being cowards stop the denial trip recover our country, who the hell is in charge , when you have a government who cannot as the (Audit general) says account for 900 millions dollars, why would you not want to get rid of them and put some thing in place to prevent this evil squashing our people again……………….

    Reply
  3. Pat Edwards
    Pat Edwards August 11, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Look right now if you dont stop jumping up and making these political speeches when people are crying bleeding hurting dying i guarantee you that the only.votes you will get is yours and your household. You dont see that even the leader of the.opposition trying to create unity with the PM on this matter nobody aint interested in the grand standing and blaming right now. We dont care who in or out.we want guns off our street and we want people to show love and care and concern without trying to get our vote..it is cold and insensitive these innocent people that are going through hell really dont care who running or who aint they want to live in peace and safety

    Reply

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