Tuesday 24 October, 2017

Don’t play politics with crime and violence, says PM

FILE - Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

FILE - Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

Crime and violence is not an issue that should be politicised.

This was the assertion of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he wrapped up his closing remarks to the full meeting of the Social Partnership this evening.

His comments came even as lawmen were on the scene of yet another brazen shooting in a public space – this time the Fairchild Street Market in Bridgetown.

The incident, which occurred around 4 p.m., resulted in one man being shot twice, while a nearby woman was hit by a stray bullet. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, on Monday evening, a number of gunmen in pursuit of 20-year-old Tareid Rock, shot and killed him on the crowded Spring Garden Highway at the end of the Grand Kadooment, resulting in some 20 other people sustaining gunshot injuries.

According to the Prime Minister, “It is not helpful to try to politicise the issue of crime and violence because when all is said and done, we all have to live here in Barbados and therefore we have to approach it as a social problem.”

He reminded that all Barbadians must play their part in tackling crime.

“The people who are committing these crimes were not flown into Barbados one night when we were all asleep. These are the sons and in some cases the daughters of parents that we know, who live in homes that we know, who went to school at schools that we know, so they are ultimately a reflection of some of our failings.”

 

He said the police force and the court system cannot bear full responsibility for tackling the problem, as they only come into play once the crime has already occurred.

“The police and the judiciary are at the output end of a process which begins at the input end with our homes, our schools and our communities. Where there are failures at the input end, the output is bound to be what we’re seeing.”

He said in order to see any change in the medium to long-term, corrections must be made at “the input end”.

 

According to him, the home is now much weaker now than in times past which has had a knock-on effect on schools and communities.

“It didn’t happen overnight and it’s not going to end overnight, but we have to steel ourselves, ready ourselves to deal with the challenges thrown up by these occurrences.”

He gave the assurance would Government would uphold its responsibility to ensure Barbadians’ lives are not “paralysed by fear”.