Tackling crime surge
By Carlos Atwell | Fri, July 13, 2012 - 10:39 AM
Crime is something that affects every country.
In some places, it is concentrated in certain areas. In Barbados, one of those areas is Brittons Hill, St Michael.
This week, Street Beat is revisiting Brittons Hill after attending a recent town hall meeting at the St Paul’s Primary School.
The meeting was called by the Royal Barbados Police Force to talk to residents about what could be done and how the force could better serve the people its officers have sworn to protect.
Crime prevention officer Station Sergeant Stephen Griffith said there was a surge of crime in Brittons Hill, and that was why the force was making a special effort to speak to residents.
“We have had some challenges in Brittons Hill, so we need to work with residents to bring it under control. We have strategies in mind, but we need the public’s support, so we want to hear from them about the problems they have,” he said.
During the meeting, Griffith gave the audience some anti-crime tips.
“Do not travel with anything you are not prepared to lose; use debit cards; don’t walk and text. Crime can only be fought together . . . . We can no longer allow the criminal element in Brittons Hill to take over,” he said.
However, some of the audience members said part of the problem lay with the slow response by police or the force’s bad customer service, telling the assembled panel, which included acting Senior Superintendent Lybron Sobers and Acting Superintendent Lila Boyce, of various unpleasant experiences in trying to deal with the police.
One dissatisfied person was Rozanne Parris, who said she was simply not feeling the presence of the police.
“I understand what the police was saying, but I have my concerns. The neighbour in front of me has bullet holes in his roof; the neighbour behind me get rob and another neighbour get his house break into, so as much as they are saying ‘Be our brother’s keeper’, we still have to have the assurance of the police but I don’t see them,” she said.
Parris, a single mother, said robberies were a frequent occurrence in her area and worrying about her children kept her awake at night.
Lorna Roach said she no longer had the same confidence in the police after her home had been broken into three years ago. She complained of shoddy treatment by the police and lamented that the case was still not solved, something she no longer thought would ever happen.
Others, such as David Benn, said he had lost confidence in the officers at Hastings Police Station after an unpleasant encounter with them.
Dolores Hinds outlined a problem with an abandoned house which, she said, was a haven for vagrants and the criminal element. Another man agreed with her, but did not want to be identified.
“Vagrants live in the basement and I would like to see them ‘lick’ down the whole place because, if not, they will only come back. Those people are involved in everything [criminal] you could think about,” he said.
Moreen Greenidge also voiced concerns about a different derelict building, one located near her shop. She said the bush had grown high and nobody was doing anything about it.
“It close to Betty West band house, so you don’t know who can come out and trouble the girls,” she said.
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