Focus more on forensics
The Royal Barbados Police Force and the Barbados Fire Service must adopt a more scientific approach when investigating fires.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Oral Williams stated this yesterday, adding that there should be a heavy emphasis on forensics because investigators could no longer fully depend on members of the community for information.
Williams was delivering the feature address at the closing ceremony of a Fire & Arson Investigations/Court Presentation, at the Royal Barbados Police Training Centre.
Participants of the course which started on Monday 6, included members of the Barbados Police Force and fire Service and was facilitated by American arson investigator and educator Michael McDermott.
Williams admitted that in the past the country had not been successful in the investigation of fires because of the absence of skills and expertise.
He urged the participants to use the knowledge gathered during the course to be more effective on the job.
“No longer in investigating a fire scene can we rely on the ‘I see witness’.
“Fires that are deliberately set are not being set by persons going to a service station today with a gallon container in hand, purchasing a gallon of gasoline and a box of matches, and walking to the property to be destroyed, soaking it with the accelerant and then igniting it,” Williams said.
“In the investigation of crimes generally, great attention is being placed in the use of forensics. The crimes we have to grapple with today are basically the same, but technology developed to progress human development has been and is being used by the criminal element to facilitate their criminal deeds,” he said.
The assistant commissioner said that being an arson investigator was not about making money or fame, but rather providing a service to the people of the community.
“It is about dedicating your time and expertise in letting interested parties know the true cause of the blaze, including who or what was responsible.
“It is not about walking in the morning saying ‘lord, another day of dealing with who ever’. It is more about ‘I have to be in early this morning, because I have to find the evidence or the cause or the person responsible for this fire.’
“In other words, the day that you find you are unwilling to execute your duty with the zeal of wanting to do good, or your having to go to the job appears to be burdensome, then it is time for you to quit.” (AH)