Precious Metals and Second Hand Metals Act – Stops Barbadian Crime or Kills Entrepreneurial Spirit?

CAVEAT

This story is only now appearing as I was researching a lot of details which I needed to verify before just releasing the video. Such as how can Legislation be enacted only after Parliament was dissolved for Elections at the beginning of this year?

The majority of felonies pertaining to jewellery are concentrated in and around Bridgetown (RBPF Slide Image)

The majority of felonies pertaining to jewellery are concentrated in and around Bridgetown (RBPF Slide Image)

I was able to verify this by directly asking the Governor General one night at the British High Commission’s official residence, he explained the new law pertaining to Ca$h For Gold was passed by January 25 and he signed the law to effect on the 31st, with Parliament dissolved the day before. He was pleased I had taken the time to do research before airing my concerns for the public at large.

KNEE-JERK REACTION: SITUATION NORMAL – BARN SHUT WHEN HORSE FLEES

There are legitimate concerns for the result of a new industry in Barbados which provides hard currency in what was previously instant basis, the fact that in the first two months of 2013 just under one million dollars was stolen and Police Commissioner Dottin projecting at least $6 million in Gold stolen when 2014 is looming.

Lalu Vaswani, President of the B'dos Chamber of Commerce & Industry sat in on the session along with key Officers

Lalu Vaswani, President of the B’dos Chamber of Commerce & Industry sat in on the session along with key Officers

However is every operator a seemingly a quasi-legal bandit? Did the Police take in account how Guyana has many pawn-brokerages and similar outlets where new and pre-used gold jewellery are plied?

Parliament was dissolved January 30 for Eklections, so why didn't any local Media query the logistics of the move? (RBPF Slide Image)

Parliament was dissolved January 30 for Elections, so why didn’t any local Media query the logistics of the move? (RBPF Slide Image)

The concern I have for Operators who seek to stay on the good side of Police is the fact they are now expensed, they are required to disburse fees via cheque and they must have an office or location which has defined hours.

Yet Barbados says they wish to be a hub for Entrepreneurs? Only certain kinds? Instead we’re told do not wear gold, so then maybe we should walk to work as our cars can be stolen, but wouldn’t people stare at our feet? Then if we have on anything from Converse or Payless we may be pulled up for our footwear? Where does it end? When do Police implement their mandate?

An alleged suspect - portrait rendition from Police

An alleged suspect – portrait rendition from Police

Chequing account and a locale mean added expenses, plus the restricted hours now limit how and when they can accommodate their clientele; some of whom may include select Barbadians who’d rather not be seen in public pawning the family heirlooms… What with the prerequisite of regularised hours – and on top of citizens trying to pay bills and accomplish other banking during their Lunch hours – is this not stressing an already limited time framework of a society under pressure?

PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE – WHAT MESSAGE IS SENT TO TOURISTS?

Unlike previous cases, tourists have been informed of this jewellery development from the beginning, yet we are shocked when the UK decides to issue an Advisory about us? Let me say in this part from the outset, since Barbados depends on Tourism and not really looking at Entrepreneurism, then Hell to the Yes, we will treat Tourism crimes as Priority… If it is not liked? Then lobby for Mobile or Tablet App design, IT sector and Film Industry to build and replace the Tourism plank, until then hush up and accept that if a visitor gets robbed they will be given precedence over any other felony!

"Ian, I find you are very provocative..." Perhaps you need to stop handing me so much fodder?

Ian, I find you are very provocative…” Perhaps you need to stop handing me so much fodder?

I mention all of this, since at the beginning of the video, I have a vociferous debate with Commissioner Dottin as to whether or not the Terry Schwarzfeld incident was immediately alerted to the Press. Now Police’s Headquarters on Roebuck Street do not have guest wireless as many organisations now do, so I could not verify at the time. However, once I got home, I was able to conduct an online investigation;-

The Truth
March 6, 2009 at 3:51 am
This should not have taken 3 days to reach The Nation and 5 days to get on here, not to mention it has not reached CBC TV yet. This is a huge black eye for Barbados and hushing it up will not work in the age of the Internet. The authorities should have sought the help of locals in tracking down the creep(s) who perpetrated this several days ago. Also, if they are not going to patrol Long Beach properly, then close it to the public.

My thoughts and prayers are with these unfortunate visitors.

Not satisfied this was the only online comment of delays in keeping Bajans aware of Tourism crime, I did further digging…

Regular visitor | March 14, 2009 at 10:17 PM |
GOVT RESPONDS QUICKLY

What – 12 days later ??

DISGUSTING.

UNACCEPTABLE.

Anonymous | March 15, 2009 at 11:23 AM |
What about the brutal attack on an American woman on the boardwalk at 1 pm a week ago last Wednesday? It was reported to the police, the tourist board and Crimestoppers but not a word have I seen in any newspaper, blog or e-news. How many more are there like this?

Commissioner Dottin, you claim that you were open and handled the Schwarzfeld issue by liaising with Media 3 years ago, yet these Archived remarks are calling your recollection into question – to the point where I feel you owe me an Apology?

But what is amusing yet tragic is the fact Dottin refuses to admit by warning Bajans and Visitors alike of wearing jewellery as a precaution, this is tantamount to declaring how the RBPF is in a dire situation when it relates to staffing levels.

NEW COSTS FOR OLD INDUSTRIESRECONDITIONED CARS, THE NEW RESOURCE FOR INLAND REVENUE?

The new legislation can also beg the question if Nassco, Simpson Motors & Courtesy Garage by having Pre-Owned vehicles in their fleet are not harbouring precious metals in the sense that even the least of second, third, fourth, etc. handed vehicles have a defined value and essentially this now means three agencies already reeling under a recession have a whole new bracket of taxes and licenses to review and guess where the loss will be passed to?

RBPF’s NON-EXISTENT RECRUITING POLICIES, VEHICULAR RESTRICTIONS & WAGE CEILINGS FOR MP’s: CAN MAKE FOR WIDER RANGE OF CANDIDATES FOR POLICE

Since Police have lowered the pass grade for Barbadians wishing to be Officers, there’s a strong possibility this means a higher increase where Constables and Sergeants will make decisions which are not in everyone’s interest due to their mental capacity of reasoning (sic)…

(APOCRYPHAL) The BCCI President (centre) firmly states none of his younger relatives would be interested in pursuing a career of Law Enforcement...

(APOCRYPHAL) The BCCI President (centre) firmly states none of his younger relatives would be interested in pursuing a career of Law Enforcement…

Police should be able to canvas in an open and legitimate manner for Upper & Middle Class Black, Hindu or White officers – who otherwise may be flooding an an already sagging cadre of Doctors & Lawyers, these potential additions would be more likely to make an Application if the wages were matching their contributions. Where do the extra fees accrue from?

In Guyana, there are Pawn shops side by side, what laws do they use to regulate the trade? Did Police here make any inquiries?

In Guyana, there are Pawn shops side by side, what laws do they use to regulate the trade? Did Police here make any inquiries?

MP’s need to start using Toyota Yarises, Nissan Marches and Suzuki Swifts instead of BMW’s, Mercedes Benzes and other gas-guzzling luxury vehicles. Plus the same way Bermuda, Nevis and even St Vincent can have their Cabinet taking a pay-cut, when will either BLP or DEM’s engage in a similar activity?

Another illustration of a suspected perpetrator involved with what is now an illicit trade, does the Nation newspaper refund Advertisers?

Another illustration of a suspected perpetrator involved with what is now an illicit trade, does the Nation newspaper refund Advertisers?

The funds which were used otherwise to gorge bulging MP’s who were previously slim can now be used for Police salaries so that even a Constable feels relatively comfortable in starting with the RBPF. If there are more (better-paid) Police with improved equipment, then Pawnbrokers need not feel ashamed to ply their trade and Bajans who are not hard up can sport their bling without fear once again…

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