Let’s Have a Bipartisan Approach to Dealing with the Issue of Crime in Barbados – Henderson Bovell’s view
Since January 2008, the Barbados Labour Party renewed its commitment to be responsible and mature and it took the un-announced position that it will put country before party. As the entire country is aware, a decision was taken to offer bipartisan cooperation on the economy, while it was always the policy of the BLP that crime would never be treated as a political issue, unlike what is captured on page 49 of the DLP’s 2008 Manifesto.
The BLP has long recognised that the changing face of crime requires timely, innovative and collaborative approaches and complemented by the fact that it has always had tremendous confidence in the competence of our law enforcement officials – it is easy for the BLP to hold-out Barbados as a safe low ‘crime-rate-country’ and a safe place to be. The issue of crime is therefore such that no right-thinking person or entity should want to be seen to be gloating or to gain political mileage – even if there might be an increase in crime, whether actual crime or fear of crime. Instead, there ought to be a ‘zero tolerance policy’ on crime, as well as an approach of cooperation as well as a determination to lawfully wrestle crime to the ground, whenever it raises its ugly head.
In this regard, and since the Government has so far failed to do any of the things listed on page 49 of its 2008 Manifesto – a mature and patriotic Opposition should immediate take the high ground and approach the Government to have a bipartisan approach to dealing with the issue of crime in Barbados, especially since crime or the fear of crime – can impede Barbados national strategic objectives and retard its development.
A commitment should also be given to support the Police, Immigration; Customs, the Prison; the Judiciary; the Probation Department; the Postal Service and other Stakeholder – in any lawful pursuit to address, reduce and prevent crime in this country.
Permit me to take this opportunity to salute the Police and other law enforcement officials for keeping Barbadians and our communities and country safe. There is, however, work to be done – so let’s get to work.