Thursday 12 December, 2019

Barbados MP responds to threat against police force

The Barbados Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and former Attorney General Dale Marshall said he wants gun violence in island nipped in the bud.

Following the release of a video circulating on social media on Friday issuing a warning to the police, Marshall said that regardless of it is fake or real, it needs to be addressed, because either way it has an impact on society.

“I think no matter how you look at it, that video that is circulating demonstrates a depravity in our society that we need to guard ourselves against and we need to fight tooth and nail,” he said.

The video was released one day after reports of shooting were made to the police and they recovered shells from high-powered firearms at the scene.

Marshall told Loop News:

It is a call for Barbadians to understand the kind of perils that we face. Other Caribbean islands – our neighbouring sisters and brothers are in some respects under terror as a result of gun violence, as a result of the use of illegal firearms. For many years Barbados was sitting on the sidelines as an observer. So when these horrific gun crimes happened in places like Jamaica, Trinidad or even St. Kitts we were spectators, but now we have been drawn into the arena and things are happening here. That tells us, if we as Barbadians don’t think, feel that we have a vested interest in wrestling our country back from criminals and keeping our country safe, then we will lose out to the villains in our society, and we can’t afford for that to happen, not for ourselves and not for generations of Barbadians to come.”

As it relates to looking into the video, he said, “I have no doubt that Royal Barbados Police Force will know exactly what their response should be and I have no doubt that they are already responding. I would think that the first thing they would be looking to do is to authenticate the video to see its source and if the threat is credible or if it is a hoax.”

And to Barbadians, he further stated that he can understand why persons have been shaken by the video. This came almost a year after there was a WhatsApp message going around the island in 2016 talking about ‘a blood bath’ at one of the national Crop Over Festival events.

I think that in the current environment where the use of firearms is now becoming almost an epidemic, I think that Barbadians are justifiably concerned about the content of the video because if it is authentic, then it is an indication from the criminal element of our society that they are prepared to stop at nothing until they wrestle Barbados down to the ground.”

But he called for persons not to feel overly frightened by it, yet to be cautious.

He urged:

“Now I don’t want Barbadians to become alarmed, because as I said, we have no knowledge of it is a hoax or not. In these days of social media and when technology is readily available, there is that possibility that we have to guard ourselves against.

“I think it is a wake up call, but the police investigations will have to be carried out so that they will be able to let the public know if it is a credible threat and if it is I think the law enforcement officers and the Barbadian public need to be put on guard and respond accordingly.

“On the other hand, if it is a hoax, it just shows, demonstrates the level of depravity, that people sink to. Because in an already tense environment, a society that is feeling under threat, something like that, if it is a hoax really only contributes further to our feeling of having been violated and our feelings of not being safe.”

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