Cops at the ready
THE?Royal Barbados Police Force now has a first response team to deal with any riot, looting, unruly protests or any form of disorder in Bridgetown.
Nineteen officers, all of whom work in the Bridgetown division yesterday completed training in internal security at the Regional Police Training Centre (RPTC) at Seawell, Christ Church.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Oral Williams said that rather than wait on the Task Force or resources from other divisions, this team – depending on the magnitude of the situation – would be first on the scene.
“If you had a situation where people were assembling for a purpose that was unlawful, or a march that was not authorised, these people would respond and go and seek to advise the people that they should disperse.“In the event that something greater happens, these people would take the required action,” he said.
Williams told the SATURDAY?SUN the training went beyond physical force but also focussed on participants using persuation to handle any kind of public disorder. He added that the use of physical force was a last resort.
“That is why I was trying to impress upon them the need to be part of the force’s public relations and community programmes because if you are working with the public, if you have the public on your side, then it is very unlikely that such situations will develop,” he said.
Williams said during the two-week course participants had to deal with their responsibilities under the Police Act, their responsibilities under the Public Order Act, and how to deal with hostages and prisoners.
Assistant Superintendent Antonio Forte hailed the training course as a step in the right direction “especially looking at the type of civil unrest that has been taken place across the world such as the Middle East and here in the Caribbean in St Vincent and St Kitts.”