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Beyond the News, Inside the Issues

Dear Barbados Attorney General, This is Your Watch

Jul 15, 2022

Last Updated on July 15, 2022 9:52 am by Editor

Barbados is not unique in its experience of the current spate of crime.  Major crimes have been reported in several different cities across the world and in many cases, the crimes consist of multiple murders. As a local cleric has noted, the outbreaks here have happened before.

Back in 2017 it was that “Barbados seems to be the exception to the high rates of violent crime in the Caribbean region”.  This was the opinion of the IDB as reported in the NationNews.  Last year,  2021 Barbados reportedly chalked up its most deadly year for violent crimes. 

We do not need to be budding sociologists or practising lawyers to understand that there are crimes of passion and pre-mediated crimes. The problem is that the effect is usually the same: some violent cessation of life or maiming of individuals or removal of property from its rightful owner or all of the above.

Not all crimes are overtly violent in the sense that someone’s life is threatened by a lethal weapon. So called white-collar crime is still crime.

The sexual abuse of children is also criminal behaviour.  For that reason we are following the developments at GIS (Barbados Government Industrial School) and the embattled Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred A. Abrahams under whose portfolio that institution lies. 

The real 64 million question is not so much why this spate of crime is happening but how it can be stopped or at least seriously curtailed.  Not that there is dearth of speculation about the causes. All you have to do is read the tendered solutions and there, hiding in plain sight you will see “the causes”. 

Professionals and laymen alike attribute the uptick in crime partly to covid-19 fallout: people are angry and many are out of work thanks to senseless lockdowns. 

Next door in T&T (Trinidad and Tobago) Prime Minister Rowley has voiced his concerns about crime there. He has laid the blame squarely at the feet of parents. According to Newsday, an online Trinidad & Tobago publication, the Prime Minister “called on parents to show greater accountability when raising their children so they can avoid a life of crime”.

Now achieving that is going to be a piece of cake, especially where the parents themselves are involved in crime.  Some teachers in Barbados can confirm that one of the aspirations of some children of primary school age is not to be a fireman or a doctor but to be a drug lord! That is more likely to be also true of T&T. 

From where did these children draw their uplifting inspiration? TV? The teacher? You already know the answer: children learn what they live.

Blame Game

The Attorney-General (A-G) of Barbados, Hon. Dale Marshall has placed the blame for the recent increase in gun violence squarely on the importation of illegal guns. That helps us to understand why two plus two equals four and not five.

Furthermore, the enlightened A-G has stated that his government will reach out to the USA which the honourable gentlemen believes is the source of illegal weapons shipments to Barbados.

In other words, the buck does not stop at those responsible for using the guns or at the policing and justice administration in Barbados but elsewhere. Classic attribution theory.  And what is the gist of this theory?

People tend to explain their successes and failures in ways that makes them feel better about themselves. Ushioda 2001.

For some esoteric reason, guns have taken on a mind of their own and the Customs and Excise Department– which is really an arm of the law enforcement system – now seems to be an untouchable foreign enclave in the midst of a newly minted “sovereign” republic. 

We use the word “sovereign” advisedly considering our indebtedness to the IMF and various foreign entities to the tune of 1.2 billion dollars!

Accountability or Responsibility? 

We understand quite well, the spirit of what Rowley had to say to the citizens of T&T although we submit that PM Rowley has got the issue somewhat conceptually flipped. Not that this flipping thing is anything new; it is how we live: down is up and left is right.

According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary online, “accountability is the quality or state of being accountable; especially an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions” 

If you muse on this for a minute, you may just notice that accountability is being spoken of as something that happens after the fact;  ex post facto, if we may take that expression out of its legal context.   

At the risk of being accused of being literal-minded, may we suggest that we do not want people to account for anything…“after the fact”? We want prevention.

Is it still true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? If so, what we want is for people to exercise responsibility, which in this context means, proactive prevention of crime. 

Blame AI

Surely that is going to be a multi-faceted process. But it is also going to be a very tall order seeing how we have dissed the death penalty. 

The smart people in society tell us that capital punishment, a euphemism for the death penalty, does not deter crime.  The liberals, leftists and humanists have told us that hanging is barbaric.

The fire-bombing of a store resulting in the grisly death of individuals is not barbaric; only the notion of hanging the guilty.  Ergo, the taxpayers have to provide three solid meals per day, a uniform and shelter for the guilty individuals for the rest of their life.  Sounds like a great deal for any criminal!

But that is not all. In some cases, no compensation whatsoever is paid to the surviving family members as it is often argued, “no amount of money can bring the person back!” Do we really listen to ourselves?

Perhaps the smart people to whom we alluded earlier have a point. Why? Because for every crime committed there will be at least half a dozen lawyers who, with the hope of making a name for themselves, are ready to argue for a continuation or to find some loophole in the system to get a guilty client off the hook.  

In fact, some hardened offenders will tell you to your face, “my lawyer gine get me off, man”.

We are not at all suggesting that the accused should not be represented by counsel and have a fair trial; that in itself, would be a travesty of justice!

Furthermore, we agree that some individuals may  have been hanged wrongfully. That is the major premise on which Amnesty International’s argument against the death-penalty is predicated. But is that a reason to abolish the death penalty? 

The knives in your drawer can be used to slice a cucumber or slit the throat of a family member. Should we, therefore, ban knives in the home? Do we throw out the baby (“theyby” or “theybie” in the Gendertalian dialect ) with the bathwater? How about putting the blame where it really belongs?

Justice Reform

What the Barbados justice system (and perhaps that in Trinidad & Tobago) needs is to do a better job of (1) weeding out subverted judicial officials (2) ditto corrupt and incompetent police and (3) improving other aspects of the justice system, especially the inordinate time it takes to bring cases to court as well as issue sentences.

Right there we have three: not one or two, but three alternatives that can be pursued instead of the abolition of capital punishment. 

In the cold war, the proliferation of nuclear weapons effectively deterred any one country from unilaterally starting a nuclear war. At some point the war mongers became so perfectly peaceful (more likely tired of war ) that they poured SALT (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks) on such weapons.  Now we are surprised to hear Russia threatening to nuke the UK, of all places. We will never understand human folly! 

Is a deputy essential? So too is a deterrent!

Heart of the Matter

The leftists, liberals, New Agers and sundry do-gooders tell us what we want to hear: that we are little gods. So, the evil things we do, they say,  is just “mistakes”. To that, we object! We prefer to adopt the down to earth explanation of the Bible:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 New Living Translation

Nobody in his right mind is going to look at a rotting fruit and put it in the fridge with the expectation that such an act will halt, far less reverse, its decay. Yet that is what we do every day by excusing evil and putting its punishment on hold. 

What we find interesting, and sometimes seriocomic, is that some among us had the gall to fight against the removal of the concept of God from our constitution yet in every day living we fail to observe even the simplest of all pieces of wisdom that His Word provides.

For example, it seems that nobody, including church leaders (some of whom appear all too eager to please the government), has ever heard this verse of Scripture:

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Ecclesiastes 8:11 KJV

Not a fan of King James?  Let’s try a modern translation:

When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.  Ecclesiastes 8:11 New Living Translation.

Now that we have split hairs on the translation, does it make a difference? 

Many live under the impression that the injunctions of the Scripture are there to restrict our freedom when in truth, they are designed to help us enjoy and maintain freedom.

Now that we are beginning to feel fear at leaving home or being on some beaches because of the increasing crime, do we still feel free? What happens when we reach the stage where we are afraid to even go into our front yards? Will we still feel free then?

The 64-million-dollar issue is not so much the cause of crime, but what must be done to stem it. Listen to Ecclesiastes 8:11 again:

When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.  Ecclesiastes 8:11

But whose crimes are we talking about? That of the so-called “little man”? Crime dressed in blue overalls? Crime dressed in white collar and tie?

Under the last DLP administration the Speaker of the House allegedly relieved a senior citizen of thousands of dollars yet continued to “sit in the seat of the scornful”.   

How do you explain why 6 million in taxpayers’ money is unaccounted for by the Barbados Revenue Authority and nobody is facing prosecution far less a lengthy jail sentence?

Are these perpetrators looking “higher up” and thinking: “If they can get away with it, so can we?”


What I am keen to find out is what will happen when an increased number of individuals start applying for firearm licenses to help defend themselves, if this wave of crime intensifies. I am keen to know how the police will justify any refusals.  

So let us see if the Scripture has any good advice for us again:

By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down. Proverbs 29:4

To show partiality is not good—yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.  Proverbs 28:21

Anything there sounds familiar?

By Editor

2 thoughts on “Dear Barbados Attorney General, This is Your Watch”
  1. Barbados is a small society that NEEDS Leaders with integrity, honesty and empathy. The behaviour of those doing wrong is “infecting” the society. They need to be weeded out, with or without titles. Wrong is wrong whether you have a title or not…..That is how the Creator would see it and its HIS world.

    “The devil is a liar”. This is the foundation of most of the Leaders in the world today. They are lying to the people and doing as they like neglecting the old and needy and ONLY appear to step in when these individuals put themselves in the limelight. There’s hardly a time when they are proactive and on the ball for the masses, they are constantly reacting to the needs of the poor because they are occupied doing the wrong thing. They are responsible for the guns in our community as they do little to resolve this issue. We see that from the current Auditor General’s report, the state of the country, the debt we are in and the high rate of crime. Others that know are complicit in these crimes because they do little to whistleblow and stop the rot.

    We would have done better, as a country, if we pooled our money and discussed what was needed for the community and the most vulnerable members, we would be in a better place now, we would make sure NO guns would be coming into the country.

    Rich people, people on the highest salaries SHOULDNT GET any concessions because they can afford to invest money into their businesses where a poorer person pays more, earns much less, and would have to borrow, save or start with a minimum to try and start-up in Business. Plus at the top of the pyramid its all about “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” and the masses are the fall guys when money goes missing to pay it all back. What a GREAT SYSTEM if you have one of those TITLES the enables you to steal clients or the taxpayer’s money. It is transaparent that one of the smallest islands exists with this high expenditure when the Arawaks and Caribs without the confusion we have today….The reason is they lived off the land and depended on each other to surive.

    This isnt even the price we pay for progress…..this is simply GREED !!

    1. This so so true, and if you try to hold onto a job without getting caught up in their unethical behavior, further less speak out against it or refuse to get involved, you are victimized, ostracized, given a bad reputation, and blacklisted.

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