Research officer of the Criminal Justice and Planning Unit, Kim Ramsay speaking at the forum yesterday.
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WHILE GANGS HAVE ALWAYS existed in Barbados, they have become more organised with a “complex and sophisticated network”.
That information was gathered in a recent gang study by the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, says senior research officer Kim Ramsay, who has also disclosed that present gangs have more access to firearms and drugs.
She said while some people still had doubts as to whether gangs were in Barbados, evidence suggested that there was a gang problem.
Ramsay said although gangs were prominent in the 1960s and 1970s, they began to peak in the mid 2000s.
While she chose not to say too much on the topic, the senior officer said there were gangs of all denominations, including those with religious backgrounds.
She said things had gotten to the point where parties popularly known as “gun out fetes” were being held where people openly displayed their firearms.
“The gang situation in Barbados is deep and entrenched and it includes persons of all strata of society,” Ramsay said yesterday during the National Consultation On Violence which was held at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.