Defence Force right call, says Broomes

The plan by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite to bring out the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) to help police arrest the worrying spate of gun violence has received two thumbs up from retired principal Jeff Broomes.

Responding to the announcement Brathwaite made last weekend, the educator said a firm, no-nonsense approach that includes calling out soldiers to fight
crime alongside police officers was
exactly what was required to restore calm to society.

“These policies must be clear and unambiguous, leaving no one in doubt about where and how far the nation’s leadership is prepared to go to rid this country of the potential scourge of unlimited guns, both legal and especially illegal, as well as illicit drugs that seem to be enveloping it,” he said in a fiery speech at the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) lunchtime lecture.

“I propose an approach that includes regular anti-crime community sweeps that are intelligence-based and, yes, I support the idea of the army and police working as a team on this,” added Broomes, pointing out that while police walkthroughs –such as the one conducted earlier this week in the Gall Hill, Christ Church communities following fatal shootings in the area – are good for relationships and trust, an aggressive response was required to “go after those who would want to destroy the country”.

Stressing that the Freundel Stuart administration could not abrogate its responsibility, Broomes said there was no greater requirement from Government than to ensure the safety and security of the country, even if it called for a temporary sacrifice of certain civil liberties.

“Of course, there will be questions about personal and civil rights. I respect the need to ensure these until they come in conflict with what must be done to protect our citizenry. People give their lives in war to ensure the safety of their nation. There can be no surrender and no retreat in the execution of this responsibility. Government must do what must be done. Anything else is the gifting away of the heart and soul of Barbados,” he argued.

“Sometimes national concerns must supersede personal interest.”

Broomes also warned that Government must not only be bold enough to make the tough calls but be prepared to be held accountable for the results.

Although the Attorney General’s plan has the former principal’s full support, it has not been well received by prominent criminal attorney, Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY earlier this week, he criticized it as a knee jerk reaction to society’s fear of gun crimes, which are responsible for 19 of this year’s 23 murders.

Pilgrim said that short of martial law, he could not see how bolstering the armed forces’ involvement in crime fighting would fix the root cause of what he said was a social problem.

One Response to Defence Force right call, says Broomes

  1. Belfast August 26, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I’ll give Andrew Pilgrim his due. 30, 000 British Troops, including 11 Battalions of the locally raised Ulster Defence Regiment and just 7000 police officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary,plus a series of treaties, could not in the 38 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland solve what was in essence a social problem . But they did put a dent in the armoury of illegal firearms held .


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