No free ride

Grant takes aim at perpetrators, blames neglect for crime outbreak

The man who is looking to snatch the St Michael South East seat from Santia Bradshaw of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party is contending that a long history of neglect has turned The Pine into a high crime area.

However, Rodney Grant, the community leader and Democratic Labour Party (DLP) hopeful, is not about to give the criminals a free ride.

Grant told Barbados TODAY the current outbreak of gun violence is reminiscent of a period over a decade ago when gunplay was the norm in The Pine.

With crime seemingly getting out of hand, police swooped down on the community one Saturday morning and locked it down in an attempt to root out the troublesome elements.

“Sometime in the past we had an outbreak in The Pine that lasted something like ten years, and you know what? At the end of it we had men who got jailed, some who end up in Westbury [Cemetery, dead], some end up crippled. I asked myself, and I asked them [some serious questions] and this is how we brought it to an end,” he recounted to Barbados TODAY.

“I remember we sat with the station sergeant at District A [Police Station] and this is how we brought it to an end. I asked them, what is the end result of all of this?  Who is winning? Who is gaining anything? Because at the end of all of this destruction and Armageddon that we are bringing on communities, who wins?

“The communities are still poor, the people who are perpetuating these things, their families are still poor. What is the sense of it? We sit down fighting one another for nothing and then end up with nothing. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. It makes absolutely no sense,” the community activist said.

Grant said with violent crime posing a headache once again for the authorities, similar questions must now be asked of the perpetrators.

There have been 22 murders across Barbados so far this year, equalling the total for all of last year.

There have also been regular reports of shootings in several of the crime hotspots, with The Pine having its fair share, the most recent taking place on Tuesday night when two men were shot while liming outside a shop at Bottom Close.

Grant said many of those involved in crime were taking their cue from “bad examples at the national level” who seemed to be getting away scot-free.

“While [we] are dealing and trying to resolve these community issues we have to deal with crime at the top level, because . . . young people sit down and say, ‘look, if them could do that I could do this too’. Things like corruption and bad examples of white-collar crime we have to deal with too.

“It can’t be enough that we are trying to resolve conflict at the community level and not at the national level ‘cause the people at the community level are gonna sit down and look at the bad examples at the national level [and say] ‘nobody ain’t doing nutting ‘bout them . . . we could do wha’ we feel like’
. . . this is how it plays out.  It is a defeating problem from many angles,” Grant stressed.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite advocated a softer touch for young offenders, arguing that long jail terms would not necessarily solve the worrying crime situation among young people.

Those comments came at the time of growing public calls for tougher penalties to combat the upsurge in gun violence.

However, the DLP candidate adopted a different position from the attorney general, suggesting that in some instances it made no sense “because you have to sometime meet fire with fire” in cases where people were intent on engaging in “certain behaviours”.

“We say we’re a civilized society, but if we were we wouldn’t have no need for law courts and lawmen and a legal system . . . that is a feature of our society.  We’re not as civilized as we think because if we were, we wouldn’t be running around killing one another for five cents and ten cents and robbing old women and shooting babies and children. You understand that?

“So we need both approaches. We need to have a hardcore approach at one level for those people who ain’t really bent on doing anything different but also, we need a  . . . very, very strong proactive approach at the level of community,” Grant told Barbados TODAY, explaining that it called for “strong, long-term” investments at the community level.

“[You can’t] come and throw lil’ two cents now and turn your back later, because a lot of these communities have been neglected for years. You can’t expect 50 years of neglect to produce 50 years of productivity. It can’t happen. We now have to realign how we deal with investments and the whole way we distribute resources to deal with development at the national and community level.

“It can’t be a few disbursements where we chuck pittance to the communities and tell them, ‘be thankful for what we give you’, then we have all these large things happening at the broader level and you see people making 20 and 40 million [dollars].

“I mean all these things will perpetuate crime. People will say it is not an equal playing field cause ‘wunna lef we here to fight among we self, but look at wunna,’” he said.

ryangilkes@barbadostoday.bb

9 Responses to No free ride

  1. Loretta Griffith August 17, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Grant’s sentiments where he said you ‘fight fire with fire’. I have always advocated this.
    These times call for strong and decisive leadership. No kid gloves.
    I am from the old school and can’t and will not condone lawless or reckless behaviour.
    Just hoping and praying that someone or ones come(s) along and really revolutionise this Barbados in a positive way.
    We need to rid this island of the Jekyll and Hydes.

    Reply
  2. Pullhead Davis
    Pullhead Davis August 18, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Tell your pm and ag

    Reply
  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Not endorsing him because I’m not a fan of any politician period but everything he said is damm true right on point.Like a very select few well heel fat cats making millions off taxpayers and the rest sucking salt,but that is not how his political ruling party see it so I find his comments very interesting.

    Reply
  4. BaJan boy August 18, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Putting such an untidy looking person in Parliament is everything that should not happen there. It is like giving the American alt right and white nationalist a passport because Trump is the President. Don’t need them and Barbados needs to take strong action against these warped minded goons. We have come from too far to allow this type to take us back.

    Reply
    • Francis August 18, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      It is obvious your mind is still stuck on the slave plantation.

      Reply
    • Sherlock Holmes. August 18, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Bajan Girl you are a pathetic moron.

      Reply
  5. hcalndre August 18, 2017 at 7:31 am

    When the young people see that at the very top these people are doing very well without breaking a sweat and are defended by their friends when they do wrong, what do you expect from the youth? The justice system is for the poor and under privileged while the others can be told to get a lawyer and ignore a judgement that was handed down. Throwing a few dollars at the community for a football tournament and then disappear until next time while shootings at the games go on and you hear how the games put a few dollars in the fellows pockets and also the venders, so what else do you want?

    Reply
  6. Milli Watt August 18, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    well the AG pandering to a political underclass with a debased mob mentality with a VOTE (to be bought by who so ever) hence the softer touch. Now Grant got me surprised with this. he calling out this group clearly he don’t rely on them like the other MPs who are mute say a minister of Finance. This place corrupt to the bone so while Grant call out this group the rest going buy them out.

    Reply
  7. Tennyson Drakes August 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I have lived in the St. Michael South-East Constituency for the past thirty five (35) years. All that time I have found Mr Rodney Grant to be a very humble and dedicated Community Practitioner. If you see him once, you see him all the time. No acting. He is the real thing. What untidy you are talking about. What a thing.

    Reply

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