Gun warning

Top cop says licensed firearms not the answer to crime

Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith is sending a strong warning to licensed gun owners that they must not feel so empowered by their weapons that they develop a false sense of security, particularly in light of the increased use of high-powered firearms by those committing crimes.

Griffith’s comments come in the wake of a daring armed robbery of food vendor David Benn at Brittons Hill, St Michael last Saturday, during which a licensed firearm was reportedly among the items stolen.

Speaking to the media this morning following a police walk-through of Bridgetown, the top cop would not confirm the theft of the firearm on the grounds that the investigation was ongoing.

However, he warned that legally owning a gun was not the be all and end all in the fight against crime. “A licensed firearm is not the answer to any crime. It can be of assistance in foiling crimes, but management of a firearm is important and if you have a firearm you still have to be aware of the surroundings and the things that can happen,” Griffith said.

“So if you are caught off guard, having a firearm is really not being to your benefit. So yes, some people are deserving of having firearms, but they need to be managed and persons must realize that it is not all there is to stopping crime,” he added.

Following his harrowing experience, Benn, who has been selling food from the same spot in Britton’s Cross Road for the last 22 years, told Barbados TODAY last Monday that it was the first time his business had fallen prey to thieves.

He revealed then that three gunmen had made off with almost $3,000 in cash, cellphones and jewellery from his business and fewer than a dozen patrons, as well as a registered firearm belonging to his brother.

Police have since arrested 16-year-old Ajani Anthony Brathwaite of Hillbury Road, Brittons Hill and 21-year-old Adrian Romario Mottley of #13 Watermill Place, Bayville, St Michael in connection with the robbery.

The two were jointly charged with one count of assault with intent to rob; one count of theft and two counts of robbery. They also face six other counts of robbery.

Lawmen have said the search was still actively on for other perpetrators.

It was only last week that Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police responsible for Crime Colvin Bishop announced during a press briefing at Police Headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City, that gun crimes had climbed by 57 per cent as of the end of November, when compared to the same period last year.

Three hundred and eighteen crimes were committed with the use of firearms as compared with 202 for the same period in the year 2016, Bishop told journalists.

He said then that the gun was a weapon of choice in the commission of offences such as murder, aggravated burglary, endangering life, robbery and assault with intent to rob.

Although he did not give a breakdown of the number of the various crimes in which firearms were used, official police statistics show that of the 28 murders so far this year, 22 were gun related.

With the steep climb in the number of such crimes, Bishop reported a 28 per cent increase in the number of illegal guns seized so far this year, and a 15 per cent rise in the number of cases brought before the courts, the result of stepped up anti-gun operations and recent tours of troubled communities, he said.

This morning Griffith stated that while gun crimes continued to be of serious concern, he was pleased with the speed at which officers were wrapping up these matters.

“Gun crimes is still of major interest to us but we are doing things to combat that. Two persons have been arrested and charged with the Britton’s Hill matter and other robberies. We don’t like crime to happen but we are certainly working assiduously to ensure that we solve those matters and in solving those matters it means that for some period of time those people are out of the way and this will certainly impact the level of crime with guns,” the top cop said, adding that increased police presence in The City and around the island has had a marked impact on crime levels this Christmas season.

“As usual in this time of the year we heighten our patrol and we have an intensified police effort, especially in Bridgetown. So far we can say that the increased patrol has impacted positively in terms of incidence of crime in The City. It really has been very low, no real crime attributed to the increased shopping activity.”

Griffith emphasized the need to shoppers to be mindful of the fact that  “there are persons who will want to relieve them of their property” during the Christmas season.

14 Responses to Gun warning

  1. Richard Braithwaite
    Richard Braithwaite December 22, 2017 at 12:52 am

    This vendor ….correct me if I’m wrong ..had in his pocession a fire arm that was legally registered
    to his brother ?
    If that is correct…why was this firearm with him
    at the time of the robbery ?
    That wasn’t registered by himself alone ?
    Either way. , just glad no one was hurt.. .
    What say you ?

    • Sue Donym December 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      @Richard Brathwaite, I can’t see where it said that the vendor had his brother’s gun. Wasn’t the owner one of the people robbed at the business location?

    • andy g December 22, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      negative thinking.who said the gun was in his possession?could you not have thought that the brother lives at the same residence.or help with the business.or was one of the people that got rob.

    • Miche December 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

      People like you always look for loopholes to punch holes in the victims,rather look at the criminal…. it shows that the only difference between the criminal and yourself is that you have not yet got an opportunity ,to show your criminal side

  2. Dwayne Babb
    Dwayne Babb December 22, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Its a costumer firearm to be said

  3. Dwight Downes
    Dwight Downes December 22, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Christopher Kirton

  4. milli watt December 22, 2017 at 10:36 am

    agreed commish………but to be caught off guard is no excuse. that is like a police officer or soldier loosing his weapon to bandits. that is just not on. that said I believe it is time that more persons be allowed to carry after being put through the paces. place to idol commish and you can’t be every where.

  5. Ossie Moore December 22, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    They both need to be taken to Codrington for the special dip untill they start talking, head first , and one legged, you know what I mean.They will talk!! Heinzy knows that full well!! They had supreme fire power in the neighborhood! Had men and women trimbling like an earthquake was about to happen along with incontenence out breakes.

  6. Bajan USA December 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Wait a saying that a license gun owner get rob of his weapon? Man he is D. H. No figging way that’s going to hapen to a well train eagle eye gun owner. He probably get frighten and give them the gun. Poor fellow must been craping himself in fright. I’m am a hell of a good shooter and when i tell you i would have put them down. Believe me them purp would be DOA. 4 shots 4 kills.

  7. Bajan USA December 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Wait a saying that a license gun owner get rob of his weapon? Man he is D. H. No figging way tohat’s going to hapen to a well train eagle eye gun owner. He probably get frighten and give them the gun. Poor fellow must been craping himself in fright. I’m am a hell of a good shooter and when i tell you i would have put them down. Believe me them purp would be DOA. 4 shots 4 kills.on the other hand. Its time to arm responsible Barbadians with fire arms to protect themselves and others.

    • Belfast December 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Skipper there is a hell of a difference shooting at a paper target,that cannot return fire ,and shooting at another already drawn gunman.

      • Bajan USA December 22, 2017 at 10:54 pm

        Belfast. It’s the element of surprise. If you are carrying a license weapon and cant defend yourself or others. You shouldn’t have it period. In my world there all would be dead period. Some of us Bajan leave home and receive training, have careers and jobs that put us at and advantages over others. Bajan gun owners need to be train on how to use a weapon effectively.

  8. Helicopter(8P) December 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Bajan USA try doing your magic while two men with two drawn guns trained at you. One a Glot 9 and the other .32 calibre.

    • Bajan USA December 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Seeing that you know the type of weapons use. It look like you was either one of the gunmen or one who get rob. Which one are you? Silly!


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