“What A Load Of Rubbish!” by Dr. Victor H. Eastmond

{EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this is a matter which could appear before the court or other legal action may ensue, I decided it is in everyone’s interest to blur the name(s) and allow Dr Eastmond - a regular contributor – to pursue the situation at his own discretion and/or satisfaction}

I returned to Barbados from Trinidad on Saturday 4th January after attending the funeral of my former best man only to be confronted by a pile of discarded items on the front door steps of Rosedale Dental Centre of which I am the Managing Director.

I then received many phone calls from friends, patients and neighbors who had seen the mess and wanted to know if I was aware of the degrading situation. I was informed by one of them that the dumping was not there until Friday evening.

I never thought such an act would occur in our beautiful Barbados which boasts of a highly educated population and why do such in an area where tourist traffic is continual and will knowingly affect our main foreign exchange earner? I was perplexed and wondered what I should do. Why the dumping? Was someone sending a message? What should I do? Accept that this is now an accepted Bajan custom and keep a low profile or speak up and inform the public via media that such an act has no place in our society? Is it my duty to locate the perpetrator(s) so that could speak to him/her/them? Definitely more questions than answers.

I never thought such an act would occur in our beautiful Barbados which boasts of a highly educated population and why do such in an area where tourist traffic is continual and will knowingly affect our main foreign exchange earner? I was perplexed and wondered what I should do. Why the dumping? Was someone sending a message? What should I do? Accept that this is now an accepted Bajan custom and keep a low profile or speak up and inform the public via media that such an act has no place in our society? Is it my duty to locate the perpetrator(s) so that could speak to him/her/them? Definitely more questions than answers.

In retrospect, even if I did know the culprit(s), I did not feel it my duty to be confrontational and therefore dismissed such reactivity for the following reasons. The first being that since I did not conclusively know the true identity of the culprit(s), any assumption may be biased and/or unfounded. The second reason is that I could be creating a situation which was likely to escalate and might be thereafter seen as taking the law into my own hands.

Because such an act is illegal in Barbados, I subsequently decided to call the District A Police station requesting their assistance in the matter but was informed that they could only deal with it if the identity of the person was known or if the person was caught committing the illegal act.

Because such an act is illegal in Barbados, I subsequently decided to call the District A Police station requesting their assistance in the matter but was informed that they could only deal with it if the identity of the person was known or if the person was caught committing the illegal act.

This left me disappointed and with the responsibility on my shoulders of having to clear the mess. On Sunday 5th January 2014 with the assistance of two employees, we were able to place most of the sodden effects (with the exception of the mattresses) into approximately twelve large garbage bags. During the process, we came across many items from which photographs were taken in the hope that they would contain enough evidence to ascertain the identity of the person to whom all personal effects (which I retained as evidence) can be returned.

These effects included envelopes with the name of an individual whose address was listed.

These effects included envelopes with the name of an individual whose address was listed.

There was a part of a book which contained the name of two individuals who residence was documented as depicted in the accompanying photograph.

The most interesting find was a NIS registration card bearing a name, NIS number and the National Registration number. Other finds were school books with the name of the pupil inscribed.

The most interesting find was a NIS registration card bearing a name, NIS number and the National Registration number. Other finds were school books with the name of the pupil inscribed.

In light of these findings, a letter containing the aforementioned photographs was hand-delivered to District A police station on 4th February 2014.

I must state that this is not the first time that I had experienced such an incident. About 15 years ago, I paid someone to cut my lawn and tidy up around the office. When he was finished, I went to inspect and complemented him on a job well done. As I looked down in admiration, a little boy who I estimated to be about 7 years old, walked past and threw an empty carton onto the lawn. I shouted at him and told him to pick it up. He retorted with a mouthful of profanity for which I would have received a hard slap when I was a child by any adult present. Can you imagine a little boy cussing an adult in a public place! Is this now “The Norm“? I was embarrassed and so shocked that I retreated back into the building wondering what is our society coming to? If I had taken such action as was the norm some 30 or so years ago and grabbed him, I would have been deem the offender by assaulting the child. I had to wonder if this same child was the one who was responsible for the present dumping?

In conclusion, I believe anyone who is so indiscriminate to dump on another person's property should be warned that it is an unhealthy, most unsightly and unwarranted act which cannot be condoned by any Barbadian. To do this in an area where there is a constant traffic of tourists can definitely affect our tourism product. I strongly feel that it is useless going through the judicial process which can be seen as a costly means of revenge for punishment when the ultimate requirement for such persons is education in the benefits tidiness can bring to our country and people.

In conclusion, I believe anyone who is so indiscriminate to dump on another person’s property should be warned that it is an unhealthy, most unsightly and unwarranted act which cannot be condoned by any Barbadian. To do this in an area where there is a constant traffic of tourists can definitely affect our tourism product. I strongly feel that it is useless going through the judicial process which can be seen as a costly means of revenge for punishment when the ultimate requirement for such persons is education in the benefits tidiness can bring to our country and people.

Such education was instilled in me at St. Giles Boys’ school as a part of my education and it continues to live with me. I must ask, what signal does this send about us as Barbadians? What signal is being sent to our younger generation if such acts are now being accepted as a cultural norm? Such training must be practiced in the home under parental guidance and reinforced in our schools. I sincerely hope that as Barbadians we will accept responsibility by acknowledging that this island is OUR HOME in the true sense of the word. Let us demonstrate pride in keeping every square foot of it clean and sing BEAUTIFUL BARBADOS as scripted and sung by our famous Merrymen. To do otherwise will make these irresponsible dumpers potential murderers since they propagate and encourage habits and diseases which can kill and affect our economy.

Managing Director, Cavident Ltd.

One Response

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  1. Hi Doc
    your report represents a sociological feast. There is an alarming development in this country where citizens are being told by the R.B.P.F that NOTHING CAN BE DONE. This is both worrying and in my view UNLAWFUL.
    The RBPF has a legal duty to investigate all crimes in Barbados. I submit that they can only determine whether a crime has been committed IF they investigate the report/incident.
    I have observed that all too often many officers are looking for an easy way out(lazy), disinterested or unaware of their responsibility to the citizen and to society. Very often it is a junior who delivers the cryptic information that” it is not within our scope.”
    If I am correct this deterioration must be arrested and I suggest that every citizen who encounters such unprofessional conduct should reduce their account to writing and post to the COP who still has responsibility for the discipline and good order of the RBPF

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