BLP criticizes Government plan to increase police powers

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is accusing Government of attempting to rush through legislation to increase police powers, but could potentially encroach on Barbadians’ civil liberties.

A Bill entitled Amendments to the Police Act 2017, which was originally scheduled to be debated on December 19, but later push back for Parliament’s resumption after the Christmas break, proposes to grant powers to the Commissioner of Police to use cordons and curfews if he deems them necessary to protect life and property of citizens, or protect public order.

It also makes provision for police inspectors to cordon off areas for no more than eight hours during which people within the cordoned area must refrain from any activity.

The BLP’s spokesman on legal affairs, Dale Marshall, told party supporters at a joint meeting of BLP branches in the northern St Michael district that it was baffling as to why the Freundel Stuart administration was in such a hurry to introduce legislation of this magnitude without first consulting with the people of Barbados.

Marshall also suggested that there might have been a deliberate ploy to prevent the matter from being properly ventilated in the Lower House.

His reasoning was that the Opposition only received details of the measure on the night before it was originally scheduled to be debated.

“We intuitively demanded to see what Bill they intended to bring. It was not on Parliament’s website but we go sight of the Bill during the Leader of the Opposition’s cocktail party, which was 8:30 on Monday [night] and this was supposed to be debated in Parliament the next day.

“When I saw the opening words it terrified me . . . We thought that maybe we were not seeing it correctly because we could not believe that a government could produce a Bill for Parliament the next day, which had as its purpose the introduction of cordons and curfews,” Marshall said.

The former attorney general suggested that the measure appeared to be Government’s response to the outbreak of gun violence, which has resulted in 23 of the 30 murders committed so far this year.

However, he said it was drastic, particularly because the legislation stipulates that lawmen could use these new powers for something as trivial as a vehicular accident.   

“I suspect that the only time in the last 100 years that we would have had curfews would have been in the time of the [1937] riots. As a former attorney general I have been concerned about the level of criminal activity especially as it relates to gun crime. Boxing Day is now shooting day because a 23rd life was lost through gun violence on that day and I can only hope that we don’t lose another one before the year ends. We have said that it is a serious matter and one which we don’t want to score political points from, but to impose on Barbadians without any consultation the power to an inspector to impose a curfew on a person or community is unheard of.

“You probably did not know that a government that you elected was going to Parliament to impose curfews on the people. I could understand that you allow cordons for a situation like what happened at Spring Garden last August when people were running and shooting, but this statute says that they could use cordons in order to investigate motor vehicle accidents. If I didn’t see this for myself I wouldn’t  have believed it,” Marshall stressed.  

39 Responses to BLP criticizes Government plan to increase police powers

  1. Carson C Cadogan December 30, 2017 at 3:52 am

    The Govt. is on the right path.

    Reply
  2. hcalndre December 30, 2017 at 6:20 am

    @Carson C Cadogan; you are still in that slave mind mentality where you were the sole property of the slave master and the government. Did you ever read what Ben Franklin said; “Those who give up their freedom for safety, don`t deserve either one.” What is Jones and his government scared of, do they want Barbados to become a police state?

    Reply
    • andy g December 31, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      hcalndre pls wake up.what slave mentality you talking about?this is reality today.dave marshall is an a.h. what power he talking about.In Barbados as soon as something happens ,crowd gathers and innocently destroy evidence making it harder for police to do their work,this is what the bill is all about.stop being political ,read and understand for urself

      Reply
      • hcalndre December 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm

        @andy g; so you are saying that the law is needed to cordon off crime scenes and what the curfew is for? where have you ever witness a crime scene that is not cordon off? People gather at crime scenes all the time, that`s why they`re being cordoned off, do you need a law for that? the curfew is to make Barbados a police state, when and where in Barbados have you ever been subject to a curfew. if you want Barbados to become a police state, glad for you and the other bajans. Are you going to tell the visitors be off the streets by a given time too. I know that judges put a curfews on certain individuals for a certain period, is a law needed for that too? ask the politicians what is their real reason?

        Reply
        • jennifer January 1, 2018 at 8:21 am

          @hcalndre – Everybody knows that black people especially so called bajans are very placid and in a state of stupor. They stand for nothing and fall for everything, so this will not be about gun violence per say. This is a plan for something MUCH MUCH BIGGER. Something which will cause panic, pandamonia and rioting most likely. The rushed legislation indicates this occurrence is right around the corner.

          Reply
          • jennifer January 1, 2018 at 8:33 am

            “I suspect that the only time in the last 100 years that we would have had curfews would have been in the time of the [1937] riots.

  3. Patrick December 30, 2017 at 7:11 am

    This clown criticises everything and did little when he was AG

    Reply
  4. Patrick December 30, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Hcalandre, what do you contribute to this country?

    Reply
    • hcalndre December 30, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      @Patrick; say what you contribute and then I will deal with you.

      Reply
    • hcalndre December 31, 2017 at 7:27 am

      @Patrick; tell me what you contribute and then I will deal with you.

      Reply
  5. Alex Alleyne December 30, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Should have been along with the BDF. Long over-due. This is the “silly-season” so Marshall is swiping in the dark. Barbados is sinking deep into a “hole” and the silly gun fools out in the streets must be eliminated.

    Reply
  6. jrsmith December 30, 2017 at 9:33 am

    They are all the same rubbish our politicians….. We need to be able to remove them any time , not only waiting for a general election …………………………..

    Reply
  7. Someguy December 30, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I’m no fan on this govt by ANY stretch.. but the same half measures we have been using to fight back against certain elements in society will get us the same “results” if you can call them that.

    Decisive action is needed.

    Any politician looking for my vote needs to tell me specifically how they plan to combat crime. And it can’t be this “c’dear” approach.

    Gunmen out here feeling for ppl children? Stupse.

    Reply
  8. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed December 30, 2017 at 10:44 am

    We gotta do something to curb this gun violence so I in support

    Reply
    • O. Walrond December 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      What makes you think this is about gun violence?

      Reply
      • jennifer January 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

        Wonderful question! And I think you know what it is about. It’s in your nature. Of course you will not share. Forget the negative bs.

        Reply
    • Michael Crichlow
      Michael Crichlow December 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      If you want to live in a Country run by the police…Russia is where you belong..Citizens! Never subscribe to such an Authoritarian mandate

      Reply
      • Pete Crichlow December 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

        Isn’t gun ownership illegal in Barbados? How are guns getring into the island and what is being done to stop guns from coming into Barbados?

        Reply
    • Ziggy Blessed
      Ziggy Blessed December 30, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Gotta figure out if wunna want peace and safety or duck & hide…….Clearly the 2 can go.together nowadays

      Reply
    • Jack Ryan
      Jack Ryan December 30, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      How many ppl on here realise that the government now 101% run our lives and with a police state we are doomed

      Reply
  9. trevor daniel December 30, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    What is it about O. Walrond tell me. Are you related to that Olu Walrond a BLP yardfowl from in St. John near that drug rehab institution. The BLP did nothing for good policing in Barbados when they were in office and during the short time this clown Dale was Attorney General. He served from Feb.20 2006 until Dec. 20th 2007. There was an unhappy relationship among us then.

    Reply
    • Ras December 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      trevor daniel this de same Olu Walrond aka Glyne Walrond who worked at CBC.
      Never knew he was a BLP yard Duck, stool pigeon
      Glyne you should be shame, hope you not a Sodomite now

      Reply
  10. Belfast December 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Be careful what we wish for. British Soldiers had special powers in Northern Ireland. Many have been subsequently charged with murder/ unlawful killings decades after. These men were carrying out their duties and exercising their powers, as in the notorious Sunday Bloody Sunday affair.

    Reply
  11. Alex Alleyne December 30, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    No POPITICS, Just safety for the Citizens.
    I’ll go along with such all day long.
    Who “clean” don’t have to worry.

    Reply
  12. James Amlighty
    James Amlighty December 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    What next? Food rationing?

    Reply
  13. Othneal December 30, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Can someone help me out here please? I am having some difficulty in seeing how a cordon or curfew will PREVENT gun violence. In my nativity, the proposed measures seem like desperation.
    The proposed measures are traditional methods employed when tackling civil unrest and preserving crime scenes. The latter for the collection of forensic evidence.
    The best way to tackle an acute outbreak is to setup a taskforce with efficient intelligence gathering facilities. With exemplary sentencing by the courts, such a strategy might work. It works in disease control and it should work with violence control. Makes since? It does to me. Otherwise, h..e..l..p..FBI.

    Reply
    • TOMMY A December 31, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      only dale marshall’s opioned.

      Reply
  14. Ralph Greene December 30, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    What next? A change in the constitution for Prime Minister for life? Wunna feel bout here is Venezuela?

    Reply
  15. Sherlene Phillips
    Sherlene Phillips December 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Wow, will soon be a police and military state…I will like to see some legislation that will lock up corrupt politicians and even cut off dem hands…lol

    Reply
  16. Carson C Cadogan December 30, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Ramsay wants tiered approach to crime fighting

    “”Senior Research Officer in the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit (CJRPU) of the Ministry of Home Affairs Kim Ramsay is recommending a tiered approach to tackling crime.
    And she said the first step was to identify the trouble spots and disband the criminal elements in these areas.

    “The short-term solution in my opinion is that we have to first of all go into the communities that are problematic. Where there is evidence of criminal groups, we have to disband these groups by whatever means necessary and that obviously is a law enforcement tactic that I cannot speak to because I am not a member of law enforcement.

    “But that is an immediate solution because there is a lot of intelligence on the ground. Don’t let us think that the police don’t know what is going on. The police always know what is going on. So, we have to target those groups . . . do a lot of raids and so on,” she said.””

    Ramsay joined National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) President Akanni McDowall, Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul and reformed gangster Mario Bruce in a discussion organized as part of the Man Talk series of the Men’s Fellowship of the Cave Hill Wesleyan Church.

    In the discussion themed How Can We Stop The Gun From Coming? Ramsay said the island’s education system would also have to be carefully scrutinized to ensure at risk youth do not fall through the cracks.””

    BARBADOS TODAY

    Reply
  17. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner December 31, 2017 at 8:59 am

    It’s good to give police more powers to combat crime but know those powers gine only be use on low hanging fruit bottom of economic folks not well heel fat cats.

    Reply
  18. TOMMY A December 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    MR.Marshall should stop fooling people .this is something that should have done twenty or more years ago,and mr. marshall you know that for sure.In the usa which is more high tech than Barbados ,the first thing police does is cordon off scenes,crime or other wise to avoid evidence distruction.this is something you should welcome instead of trying to score cheap polictical points. let me know if you are now laughing at these comments surporting your talk when you know fully well it cannot stop crime but to protect scenes from evidence tampering and disruption,and make investigation easier for the detectives.

    Reply
  19. Greengiant December 31, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    The police needs these powers to protect crime scenes from those using anti – social media. They also needs these powers to control movement of people in emergencies during mass crowded public events and criminal activity within the communities.

    So Dale the fail Marshall, let’s trust the police to use their discretion as we have in the past. Don’t tell us about not trying to score political points because that’s exactly what this is about.

    I can’t remember one thing you did for the R B P F when they were under your control. So leave it alone, we spend too much time debating legislation, with little progress. If you all wish to continue debating then stay in the law courts, where you can test your skills against each other. Parliament is for action of the people’s business. New political party needed, down with these two dead beat two speed (dead slow and stop) parties.

    Reply
  20. Kevin December 31, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I am in full support of what the government is proposing. We have been calling on the powers that be to do ‘more’ about the increased levels of gun-related crime, and they are…. Good luck to them.

    Reply
  21. Donild Trimp December 31, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Mr.Marshall you are wrong on this issue.

    I think this is an excellent decision by the DLP Government and the sooner the legislation is put in place, the better.

    All law abiding Barbadians should support this legislation. It is a positive step in addressing the imported lawlessness that was beginning to fester throughout Barbados.

    This tells me the BLP is not ready to Govern Barbados because they are always allowing the DLP to trick them into opposing sensible ideas that 98% Barbadians agree with.

    Mr.Nichols, please explain why you are identifying with the 2% of miscreants who prefer to see Barbados go down the road of mayhem?

    There is no logical reasoning that would lead one to conclude this legislation will encroach on civil liberties of Barbadians, as a matter of fact, it is the other way around.

    Without this legislation, Barbados will surely progress towards a society fraught with lawlessness and mayhem.

    Reply
  22. Donild Trimp December 31, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Don’t know how Mr.Nichols got inserted into my 5th paragraph above.

    Hmmmmmmnnn!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. jennifer January 1, 2018 at 8:27 am

    More fibbing and a pretense BLP rebuttal as usual for rebuttal sake. BLP will be onto things too.

    Reply
  24. tedd January 2, 2018 at 10:14 am

    when you cut down the thickets to get at and slaughter the dragon, then he turns on you what do you then hide behind. not the exact quote but close enough

    Reply
  25. Helicopter(8P) January 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Please become comprehensive Barbadians. I think we have lost our Oxford and Cambridge including London General days . Lord havest mercy!!

    Reply

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