Govt ‘too little and too late’ in addressing crime – Marshall

Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesman on Home Affairs Dale Marshall has described the latest amendment to be presented to Parliament by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration as nothing but an election ploy that is too little, too late.

Marshall today gave several Government ministers a failing grade for waiting until “the eve of an election” to present various pieces of legislation or amendments. The highly anticipated general election is due by the middle of this year.

“I am not at all surprised because in recent months we have seen a number of underperforming ministers coming to this Chamber to check the box as far as new pieces of legislation goes. So we had amendments to the Road Traffic Act, we had a new Praedial Larceny Bill and now we have a Police Amendment Act,” Marshall said in making his contribution to debate on the Police Amendment Bill, which, among other things, seeks to give police more power during curfews and in cordoned off areas.

“It seems apparent to us that on the eve of an election all of the Government ministers are lining up so that they are able to present a report card to this country with various boxes checked,” he said.

However, the Opposition spokesman said it was nothing short of “disrespect” that a national consultation was not held before the latest bill was laid in Parliament this morning by Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite.

“The fact of the matter is that when a Government intends to increase police powers one must expect a certain level of consultation and courtesy,” Marshall, a former Attorney General, said.

“Mr Speaker, I checked up to this morning and I have received confirmation that the Bar Association of Barbados has not been consulted, no part of civil society that we have checked have been consulted. This is curious sir, because all of last year there were shootings and the society was almost paralyzed by fear,” he said.

Marshall insisted that the Freundel Stuart administration was not serious about tackling crime, while he argued that the Royal Barbados Police Force was not adequately resourced to effectively carry out its duties.

Marshall also questioned why the Attorney General had not been more vocal on the crime issue last year when the population seemed to have been living in fear.

“He didn’t say, ‘don’t panic’ then, but now he comes to this Chamber to say, ‘don’t panic’. Mr Speaker, too late because Barbadians have been panicking now for a long time.

“All of last year they were panicking; they have begun to panic this year and I honestly feel this check-the-box exercise the Attorney General is engaged in is too little and too late,” Marshall said.

Asking for the promised anti-gang legislation, Marshall said Brathwaite had made several promises over the years on which he had not delivered.

“He promised a Bail Act which, in his words, would stop people from getting bail within 18 months if they were charged with certain offences . . . so I am wondering if we can even expect that to come next week. What about the Asset Forfeiture [legislation]? Is that in the pipeline as well? What about the three judges that he said would be put in the Estimates? Is that in the pipeline too? This administration really is not serious, and has never been serious about dealing with the issue of crime in Barbados,” the Opposition spokesman said.

6 Responses to Govt ‘too little and too late’ in addressing crime – Marshall

  1. Alex Alleyne January 23, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    When DAVID THOMPSON star talking about “CRIME & VIOLENCE” , who were the people that start laughing ?.
    WHO IS CRYING NOW ?……..the whole NATION. ….RIGHT ????.
    With the CRIME at a freighting rate, a set (of politicians) are lost and the rest don’t know what to do. With elections in the air, all the LOT will try to cash in and tell the voters what they want to hear, knowing that it will be business as usual after the votes count and a NEW set are called to office.
    Barbados went out and sign every bit of paper under the sun without reading just to look good. Now we are suffering from the consequences.
    BARBADOS SET BACK FOR ANOTHER 50 YEARS.

    Reply
    • David Brathwaite January 24, 2018 at 6:29 am

      How silly?

      The current government has been in power for the last ten years and crime has been ballooning out of control. It’s on their watch and they should have dealt with it. Harking back to comments made twenty years ago when this government has had ten years to fix the problem is so ridiculous it’s laughable.

      Reply
  2. archy perch January 24, 2018 at 11:43 am

    It is not true to say crime in out of control in Barbados. Persons need to research what the crime rates were like when the crooked Barbados Labour Party under Owen Arthur was in power. The figures are there to dispute your submission Mr. David Brathwaite. My problem is that when people like you go on these sites, and state these fake news, readers in the broader world might believe you, and nothing is further from the truth Sir. As a matter of fact, the highlighted crime incidents that occur, are solved mostly within a week or two in this island.The great Royal Barbados Police Force (the best in the world where I am concerned), do a magnificent job in apprehending these criminals. I love Barbados more than in love the DLP, and therefore I would NEVER spread untruths about my island for the whole world to read. That is treason.

    Reply
    • lester January 24, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      i agree archy the BLP opposing everything crime is to be arrested i salute the RBPF FOR THEY EFFORTS, politics is politics but it is we the normal citizens that have to run for cover when the bullets start flying not the politicians. Mr. AG start dismantling dem blocks tooooo

      Reply
  3. lester January 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Mr. Dale Marshall its never too late to tackle crime sir unless certain lawyers benefiting from these criminal elements feel threatened

    Reply
  4. Helicopter(8P) January 24, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Cut the talk!! Crime is every honorable citizen of Barbados’ business. Blaming Party in Power is not maintaining National Security and Public Safety! The Police Commissioner has a job to perform for his citizens and the Minister overseeing his duties. He must be given latitude and cohision!

    Reply

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