Jail for gangs

Members could face up to 25 years in prison, warns AG

Gang members beware!

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite today served notice that it could soon be an offence punishable under the laws of Barbados for persons to be associated with criminal gangs.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a National Consultation on Crime and Violence, Brathwaite said Government was preparing to take to Parliament in the coming weeks promised Anti-Gang legislation, which gives the judiciary the power to sentence gang leaders and members to lengthy jail terms of 20 years or more.

Brathwaite explained that under the proposed legislation, which is guaranteed smooth passage through the House of Assembly given Government’s majority in 30-member Parliament, offenders could be sentenced to “20 years for being a gang member” and “25 years for being a gang leader, which is in sync with what I have seen in other jurisdictions.

“These persons corrupt many of our young men and women and, from what you are being told, send them into the society to commit some very serious crimes. They are not heroes. They belong behind bars and that is why we want to give specific legislation to deal with them,” the embattled Attorney General, who has been under pressure to take action to stem a recent worrying crime wave, said.

He also sought to assure that authorities were on top of the crime situation, especially as far as criminal gangs were concerned.

“The police have assured me that they have identified many gangs across Barbados. The Criminal Justice and Research Unit, in their own research can point to a number of gangs in Barbados, in particular in the St Michael district . . . . There is no doubt. The question is what do you do to ensure that they are eradicated and I think that the anti-gang legislation is another device with which we could attack this issue,” he said.

As part of a harsh crackdown on crime, Brathwaite also revealed today that an amendment would be made to the country’s Bail Act, requiring gun offenders and alleged murderers to spend at least 18 months in jail before they are released.

“Society has expressed a lot of concern that persons on murder charges and serious firearm related charges can seem to just go into prison for a couple of days and come back out.

“We are placing a window of 18 months that such persons cannot be granted bail. We will be working with the courts, the Director of Public Prosecution and police to ensure that during that 18-month window, these people’s cases will actually be heard,” Brathwaite said.

He also suggested that Barbados may have to go in the direction of other territories in terms of having “a serious crimes court so that these matters are fast tracked”.

“I am actually having discussions with some of partners to see if that is the way in which we need to go,” he said.

Brathwaite, who had earlier announced plans for the introduction of a new Firearms Bill and a civil assets forfeiture regime as part of a multifaceted approach to tackling gun and other crimes, reiterated the need for a tighter legislative regime in the wake of 27 murders, including 21 so far this year which were committed by the gun.

“In terms of the Civil Asset Forfeiture [Act], I keep on hearing about guys who are driving around in Range Rovers and so on, who has no discernable place of employment and who are allegedly linked to criminal activity. We need to go after them. We can’t and should not have a situation where our young people are looking up to them and saying I want to be like them. Look how good he is living and he doesn’t work anywhere,” he told reporters.

Brathwaite also reiterated plans for a widening of the stop and search powers of members of the Royal Barbados Police Force under the Police Act, noting that at present, lawmen could conduct a search in cases where there was reasonable suspicion. However, he said this authority would be expanded in the coming weeks to include powers to cordon off areas and search homes if necessary, under controlled circumstances, taking into account the fundamental rights of citizens and rights to property.

ryangilkes@barbadostoday.bb

39 Responses to Jail for gangs

  1. Denton Crichlow
    Denton Crichlow October 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    He sound sooo ,……..

    Reply
  2. Taurus Bull
    Taurus Bull October 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    So where are rest going before now ?Are they going to a hotel?

    Reply
  3. Milanese Holder
    Milanese Holder October 11, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Maybe your.wife or sweet heart now come home.or.wake.up

    Reply
  4. John Small
    John Small October 11, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Was saying

    Reply
  5. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose October 11, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Hmm why now they have gotten a foot hold sir you should have had this program in place 2 yrs ago.
    This is pure election posturing which makes it insidious at the core.

    Reply
  6. Alex Alleyne October 11, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    “GANG MEMBERS COULD FACE UP TO 25 YEARS IN JAIL”.
    Refresh my memory, “HOW MUCH JAIL TIME WAS SAID TO BE IF CAUGHT WITH AN ILLEGAL FIRE ARM”.
    Now tell me how much time are the “gangsters” spending in DODDS on any GUN CHARGE.

    Reply
  7. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba October 12, 2017 at 12:06 am

    REMOVE THE MOTE FROM WANNA EYES FIRST, AN THEN U ALL WILL SEE CLEARLY TO REMOVE TH BEAM FROM OTHERS’ EYES….WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRIMINAL GANGS, AND COLIN TIE GANGS? AHTALKY GEN.

    Reply
  8. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba October 12, 2017 at 12:10 am

    DO U FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION ON THE BAIL ACT? I THINK THE QC’S WILL HAVE AH FIELD DAY ON WANNA…….

    Reply
  9. Terry Phillips
    Terry Phillips October 12, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Firstly disregard the “gangster title” … What makes a gangster… Liming??? Smoking… Tattoos… Drinking??? Having friends??? This some nonesense!!!

    Reply
  10. Lennox hewitt October 12, 2017 at 12:13 am

    AG sound but for me to beleve he i want to see a prototype first .

    Reply
  11. Paz Tiempo
    Paz Tiempo October 12, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Elections now coming right and he and the prime minister now waking up after doing nothing for the last few years what a hypocrite ignorance is bliss to the stupid

    Reply
  12. Greengiant October 12, 2017 at 1:16 am

    @Alex Alleyne: You don’t spend time on a gun charge, you spend time on a conviction. Now to the rest of you, if your sister was living in your parent’s home while you were abroad. She didn’t address any maintenance whatsoever. Would you like to be blamed for issues with plumbing and electrical because you currently occupy the house?

    We all know this administration has been short in several ways during it’s tenure, but many issues including the problems with drugs, gangs, violence in schools were around and started to grow during the governance of the Arthur administration. Problem was they were too busy counting paper like printing was ending rather than bringing legislation to parliament.

    Remember I really don’t favor none of these parties as being equipped for our future development, unlike many of you. However as the book says, “by their fruits you shall know them”. The D L P has passed by far the most social legislation of the two parties, as is about to happen. The D L P uses their majority to force critical legislation through parliament. The B L P has passed more business related legislation, and anti labor legislation of the two parties. They have very often used their majority to get the type of legislation that business people desire through the house.

    So in my opinion, one has a social conscience based on issues affecting the people, though economically it may appear otherwise. The other has a business conscience, but will disguise it as people related, because they will claim that people get
    jobs / work. The work usually created by the B L P is non – sustainable work. Challenge me anyone.

    Barbados in this article referred to the the Honorable Minister as embattled. Wow, strong word, remember the responsibility of the nation is that of all elected members of the house whether government or opposition. They’ve all been elected to serve the people. Both these parties have the habit of only opposing, obstructing, criticizing, rejecting and down pressing when in opposition. So if that is how you behave in opposition how can you expect any contribution when you’re in government?

    They all deliberately neglect some areas during their second terms in office, create financial nightmares, and move on. The incoming party starts to work without first disclosing to the people the issues they inherited, only to mention them when the heat is on. Sounds like history anyone?

    So while I thank the D L P for their social conscience, and the B L P for their business focused conscience. You have run your course, you both need to get into probably a decade long retreat to get in touch with 21st century Barbados and come again with youth who are having to face the challenges with lack of development. Our generation of politicians, who had state sponsored education, civil service jobs, and sweetheart associations cannot understand the challenges of our youth.

    Unfortunately it’s time to go, both of you. Your lifestyle, and benefits by association has left you out of touch with Barbadians.

    Reply
  13. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor October 12, 2017 at 1:56 am

    How will gang membership be determined? Yes, we the public are glad something is finally being done…. Yet we don’t want ppl to be deemed gang members simply because they are from the wrong area!

    Reply
    • John Everatt October 12, 2017 at 10:11 am

      This is also my concern. Gang members do not carry membership cards. They do not pay dues to join. So how does one determine if a person is a “member”. Because they live next door to someone who has committed a crime? Likewise, who is the leader and who is the soldier? The only part of this that could be proven is perhaps the proceeds of crime like cars and property. But this should not be limited to gangs. This law should be used on politicians and anyone else who has committed a crime. Take Leroy Parris for instance.

      Reply
  14. Peter R Rock
    Peter R Rock October 12, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Are politicians going to be jail too?because some politicians are like gang members

    Reply
  15. Ras Small
    Ras Small October 12, 2017 at 4:25 am

    dat mean wunna dun plan ta expand HMPD, renovate HMPG, or build another one.

    Reply
  16. John Jones
    John Jones October 12, 2017 at 4:28 am

    How much will cops who kill innocent people get? Politicians who steal poor innocent people’s money get? People in positions of authority that use their position to influence persons and businesses in bribery get? Just to list a few! Probably if the examples were set by such persons mentioned above then we wouldn’t be faced with this type of criminal environment to live!

    Reply
  17. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt October 12, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Great. This wanted doing long long ago. And jail crooked politicians and law makers also. Jail them for a long long time.

    Reply
  18. Ferreira Claude
    Ferreira Claude October 12, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Is this a scare tactic ?How do you identify gangs and gang member in the legal contects ? Are they registered ? Some thing needs to be done about “violent” crimes in particular but we must be realistic…… bail is to easy in many instances and prison sentences are to short. I have heard statement like ” I will tek 10 years for yuh.”

    Reply
  19. Sue Donym October 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

    What kinds of test are planned to determine shared mentality or motive for criminal purposes? Surely the way to decide will have to rise to the level of proving conspiracy or participation in a criminal event.

    I predict that this matter of a minimum 18 month remand will fail phenomenally. This is tantamount to an 18 month sentence and means that once charged, nothing needs to be proven. No such thing should exist in law. Many of us have called for the AG to be more in touch, indeed more proactive, but this one sounds like a shot in the dark. I think we were hoping for more along the lines of detection and prevention, not more action – or inaction – almost guaranteed to have us back befor the CCJ.

    When the block raids start, will there be blood on some doorposts? Will we also be looking at “guys driving around in Range Rovers and so on” who do have known employment but still appear to be living well beyond their means?

    Reply
  20. Frank White October 12, 2017 at 7:26 am

    All of these politicians speaks in one tone and that’s, target the Black community. Here’s my questions:

    Will this legislation include politicians linked with gangs??

    Will this legislation include businesses whether so called white own or black owned linked with gangs??

    Can you, attorney general, state what constitutes a gang?? And within whose powers will be making that determination ??

    When someone looks at it, you sometimes wonder if you are living in a country where the majority of the population are those blessed with Melanin because these current politicians, who are of the Black community, have never brought forth anything that is of benefit to the Black community…

    Reply
    • Donild Trimp October 12, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      @ Frank White –
      Stop posting horse manure.

      Do you see white people in Barbados going around shooting other white people? Get real man.

      These wannabe “gangstas” watch too much American television and try to bring that same blacks shooting blacks ignorant mentality to Barbados.

      Good legislation by the AG and the DLP Government.

      Reply
  21. Andrew Simpson October 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Those convicted of crimes against society should be made to give back, in order for penalty to be a deterrent rather than being allowed to just continue taking from the public while incarcerated.
    There must be an established works program while in prison.
    Justice can also be achieved by instituting financial penalties, assigning civil duties and even sentencing to volunteer for reputable charities.

    Reply
  22. cleo October 12, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Well said, Frank WHITE, Kaiser SOSE, John JONES. You have all hit the mark of where the Cancer/Epidemic lies, and who is responsible for it spreading for the past 5 or more year’s.
    A sure case of the tail wagging the dog, or the blind leading the blind, however you chose to see it. It’s time to really drain the swamp, once and for all, to take Barbados back from those who are hell bent to destroy, it’s once good name there and abroad.
    Wakey, wakey.

    Reply
  23. DE October 12, 2017 at 8:24 am

    This AG, like all the other AG’s, brain wash the Barbadian public with what I considered to be a total distraction. He has not dealt with the crime situation in the island. What he is focusing on, is GANGs and not CRIME.
    What if the gangs disappear and persons on their own start committing the same criminal act the gangs was committing, how are you going to deal with that individual.
    So for me the AG has not done really done anything of significant.

    Reply
    • charjoy October 12, 2017 at 11:46 am

      CORRECT. Webster defines ‘gang’: An organized group of criminals. Local definition: Politicians. Is he this stupid or pretending?

      Reply
  24. Johnathan October 12, 2017 at 9:01 am

    DE you are thinking and you are also speaking about a man who is not only not thinking is an idiot who cannot think.

    Reply
  25. roger headley October 12, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Have we gangs here?

    Reply
  26. Leroy October 12, 2017 at 9:23 am

    So when a political gang gets together and steals the $ of the people how much time yall deserve?

    Reply
  27. The Elephant October 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

    25 years for association (If it is within the grounds of the constitution)…I suppose the NSRL will cover the additional cost of this exponential prison growth.

    Essentially the probable result of such “threats” toward “gangs” (in our case idle community groups) leads to the creation of a new sphere of crime, setting in motion a new “gang-culture” with stealthier operations by these “gangs”. This is an incentive toward notoriety. Such “myopism” by any Government further undermines the already tattered fabric of this society. Perhaps, community service hours might have been a much bigger deterrent along with regular patrols by social workers and police/probation officers, much more practical -Judicially and Economically – though long term.

    It would be far more beneficial to city spaces, parks, beaches, unsightly government owned derelicts, etc. cleaned up free of Labour Cost. Once they complete the programme and fulfill their hours they can remain off the criminal records, integrated back into society without the stench of prison behind them with its unique associated deviance. Who knows, maybe these disadvantaged youths would find employment after being exposed to new skills by those committed to working with them instead of antagonizing them. But supposedly in the short-term, it’s cheaper to just banish them for being idle, in idle communities. Revamping the probation agencies, community service programmes and working to build better communities by providing spaces where people can progress in life should be of primary focus. There’s an overload of social workers without jobs – utilize them.

    Question existing: Does government officials even really care enough to help refocus the ideals of its own people, toward creating better communities and opportunities, instead of grossly mismanaging the human resource of this country with their myopic attitudes?

    Let’s not think that allegiance to gangs and the codes of silence will now disappear. Instead, fear it being more strictly observed and crime better organized because some people do crave the notorious lifestyle. Why? you ask, for starters, they have low hopes: Hopes of full education: LOW, Hopes of Jobs: LOW, Hopes of owning a home before 40 or at all: LOW…The current systems (Family, Community, Education) are failing the country. Some children are poorly educated by those entrusted to facilitate their learning, with good teaching and parenting which is simply not completing a series of syllabi and then commenting on conduct to justify grades each term. With some parent’s only involvement being to sign the report slip, or the forgery thereof, done by children for the fear of being labeled failure. After which they await their fates as the final nails in the coffin of their social mobility through the hope of education are driven in by taking CSEC/CXC unprepared and unaware of how important they are to their future hopes in a society where opportunities are reserved for “academics”.

    For the sake of the country cut out corruption from the top – down and see the progress Barbados as a developing country would make. Don’t view the title of official as simply an opportunity to finance your fancies and disdain the brokenness of society. However, be involved with your citizens, through your public servants and agencies, instead of giving them over to police and prison officers for the discipline they should have been taught 25 years prior; not 25 years after in the pen with friends…food, water, shelter, and recreation (whatever they call it).

    Reply
  28. archy perch October 12, 2017 at 10:46 am

    The DLP is correct in its decision to come down hard on crime.
    No time for pussyfooting around the issue.The BLP cannot claim to be the champions of crime in Barbados. All one has to do is go research and find the statistics. No bullshire! Crime was up during the time the BLP government under Arthur was in power.
    So kudos to the Stuart adminstration.

    Reply
  29. DE October 12, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    archy perch, you need to let go the politics and face reality. Crime was always present but Barbados has not experience this nature of crime not until now. I believe you may have not seen gun of the magnitude that you are seeing now. So the only Kudos that you can give to the Stuart administration is that they give you the opportunity to see some models guns that you would have only heard about or see them on TV or a movie.

    Reply
  30. straight talk October 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    He does talk so much #2 I wish if he would just shut up

    Reply
  31. Alex Alleyne October 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    This AG is so LOST he just don’t know what to do
    People all just make sure your Passport and Visa(s) up to date cos just now we gine have to run from BIM.
    Did this AG congratulate the Police Chief on his new appointment.
    Sweet BIM now crawling with guns, drugs, prostitution/Human trafficking, violent murders,…..only to name a few.

    Reply
  32. archy perch October 12, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    DE. Do your research, do your research DE. Furthermore,do you remember the name Richard Seymour Arthur? He was a former BLP candidate for St.Lucy right? He was charged in 2012 with illegal possession of over 100 rounds of ammunition without permission. He made bail and nothing since. Here’s another DE.
    Google the IDB Report on Crime and Violence in Barbados June 2016. If not, I will do the research and report to this site later with the facts DE.OK. I promise you!

    Reply
  33. The Elephant October 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    25 years for association (If it is within the grounds of the constitution)…I suppose the NSRL will cover the additional cost of this exponential prison growth.

    Essentially the probable result of such “threats” toward “gangs” (in our case idle community groups) leads to the creation of a new sphere of crime, setting in motion a new “gang-culture” with stealthier operations by these “gangs”. This is an incentive toward notoriety. Such “myopism” by any Government further undermines the already tattered fabric of this society. Perhaps, community service hours might have been a much bigger deterrent along with regular patrols by social workers and police/probation officers, much more practical -Judicially and Economically – though long term.

    It would be far more beneficial to city spaces, parks, beaches, unsightly government owned derelicts, etc. cleaned up free of Labour Cost. Once they complete the programme and fulfill their hours they can remain off the criminal records, integrated back into society without the stench of prison behind them with its unique associated deviance. Who knows, maybe these disadvantaged youths would find employment after being exposed to new skills by those committed to working with them instead of antagonizing them. But supposedly in the short-term, it’s cheaper to just banish them for being idle, in idle communities. Revamping the probation agencies, community service programmes and working to build better communities by providing spaces where people can progress in life should be of primary focus. There’s an overload of social workers without jobs – utilize them.

    Question existing: Does government officials even really care enough to help refocus the ideals of its own people, toward creating better communities and opportunities, instead of grossly mismanaging the human resource of this country with their myopic attitudes?

    Let’s not think that allegiance to gangs and the codes of silence will now disappear. Instead fear it being more strictly observed and crime better organised because some people do crave the notorious lifestyle. Why you ask? For starters they have low hopes: Hopes of full education: LOW, Hopes of Jobs: LOW, Hopes of owning a home before 40 or at all: LOW…The current systems (Family, Community, Education) are failing the country. Some children are poorly educated by those entrusted to facilitate their learning, with good teaching and parenting which is simply not completing a series of syllabi and then commenting on conduct to justify grades each term. With some parent’s only involvement being to sign the report slip, or the forgery thereof, done by children for the fear of being labeled failure. After which they await their fates as the final nails in the coffin of their social mobility through the hope of education are driven in by taking CSEC/CXC unprepared and unaware of how important they are to their future hopes in a society where opportunities are reserved for “academics”.

    For the sake of the country cut out corruption from the top – down and see the progress Barbados as a developing country would make. Don’t view the title of official as simply an opportunity to finance your fancies and disdain the brokenness of society. However, be involved with your citizens, through your public servants and agencies, instead of giving them over to police and prison officers for the discipline they should have been taught 25 years prior; not 25 years after in the pen with friends…food, water, shelter, and recreation (whatever they call it).

    Reply
  34. CT October 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Glad to hear of your plans Mr. Brathwaite…I hope you also have plans to increase the staff and give them the necessary training needed to deal with gangs in prison as well.

    Reply
  35. Darson October 12, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Greengiant and Arch Perch :
    I am 90-99 % in agreement ,i like the tone ,
    you are on the right track .
    i still am not convinced Barbados is ready for a third party at this time and i do like 1 or 2 of the Candidates ,but you cant judge on the surface ,we need to see more Depth and long term activity .

    Reply
  36. Ri-co October 12, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Giving a person 20 -25 yrs and bail by the next week still ain’t serving a purpose

    Reply

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