Saturday 17 August, 2019

FBI to help Barbados police in various departments

Gun and ammo found in a fete in Cheapside (FILE Photo)

Gun and ammo found in a fete in Cheapside (FILE Photo)

The United States may have offered to have the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to help in one aspect of training, but Attorney General Dale Marshall has asked for such an opportunity to be extended to multiple departments.

In light of the recent spate of crimes, especially gun crimes and homicides, despite the Force making a significant number of breakthroughs and arrests, Marshall wants more of its members trained by FBI experts.

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Word of this came recently when it was confirmed that officials from the FBI reached out to Government to provide training assistance in the fight against crime to members of the Royal Barbados Police Force. Welcoming the offer, Marshall, who is also the Minister of Legal Affairs, additionally requested that training assistance be extended to the Force’s Financial Intelligence Crime Unit (FICU) and the Fraud Investigations Unit (FIU), where possible.

Marshall made the request during a courtesy call with US Ambassador, Linda Taglialatela; Legal Attaché from the US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Dempsey; Director of the Narcotics and Law Enforcement section of the US Embassy, Jeannette Juricic; and Economic/Commercial Officer at the US Embassy, Rachel Meyers, at his office earlier this week.

In a press release from the Government Information Services (GIS), it was stated that Marshall admitted the 32 murders committed so far this year were a “tremendous concern” for Government, as some of the cases were quite “horrific”.

“I welcome your offer, and encourage you to pursue it,” he said. However, noting that the police were best suited to indicate what tools they needed, the Attorney General pointed out that government was equally concerned about corrupt practices in this country. He added that if there were opportunities for training in stemming corruption that could be offered to police, it would help to root out such “sophisticated” cases, as the investigative capacity in the FICU and the FIU needed to be enhanced.

Legal Attaché, FBI, Dempsey noted that discussions with the Commissioner of Police included seeing how FBI agents could work with and teach members of the Barbados Force new practices, which they could employ in the crime fight, “We live here, so we have a vested interest, so we are happy to provide the training,” he said, noting that a number of police officers had already benefited from training through the FBI National Academy.

In addition, Ms Juricic noted that the team would be able to engage more with local law enforcement personnel with the passage of the new financial crime legislation.

Ambassador Taglialatela also acknowledged that there was a need for more training in the area of financial investigations. “It would be good to have your investigators work with our IRS (Inland Revenue Service) people because the cases would go much quicker,” she suggested. Issues pertaining to human trafficking and other matters were also discussed during the visit.

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