Do not turn blind eye to wrongdoing
Commanding Officer of The Barbados Coast Guard, Commander Mark Peterson has issued a warning to law enforcement officers not to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing in the execution of their duties.
His comments were made following six weeks intensive training in the 2019 Advance Coxswain Course which was conducted by The Regional Security System Training Institute with support from The US Embassy.
With the region being heavily dependent on tourism, Commander Peterson said the protection of nationals, residents and visitors remains vital. He reminded participants that they are the country’s first and last line of maritime defense in combatting transnational crime and illicit trafficking which continues to plague the region.
“By actively facilitating, turning a blind eye to illicit activities, or even failing to robustly discharge your duties further strengthens and emboldens the organized criminal networks who continue to wreak havoc on our tiny and fragile economies and undermine the moral fabric on which our societies have been woven,” he emphasized.
The training was designed to prepare each participant to safely and effectively navigate a small boat and command its crew whilst enforcing the maritime laws of the islands.
The Commander said the training is important as the Caribbean basin is multifaceted. Noting that there are still not enough resources to treat the challenges, he assured that law enforcement services will not roll over and play dead.
“We are challenged by, among other things, porous borders, sophisticated criminal networks that perpetrate organized crime and vulnerability to disaster causing events,” he stated.
Participants were drawn from Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, Barbados Defence Force, Royal Barbados Police Force, Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, Royal Grenada Police Force and The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.