Call for cameras at ports
Every Nation online reader was for installing cameras at Barbados’ ports of entry.
Nation readers were throwing their support behind Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who last Tuesday night said additional surveillance cameras would be placed at all entry points into the island, especially at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Many believe this move will help to uphold the credibility of the Immigration and Customs officers and their work, and verify or disprove any charges made against them. This comes on the heels of a report from Jamaican Shanique Myrie who said she was finger-raped when she arrived in Barbados in March.
The National Union of Public Works (NUPW) responded to the plan for the installation of cameras, saying they want full discussions with all involved before this is done. The NUPW represents immigration and customs officers.
We asked our online readers for their views on cameras being placed at the various ports, as well as their take on the union’s push for talks on this matter.
Here is what some of our readers had to say on the Nation’s Facebook page.
Rosalee Green: “I welcome the cameras because it would help in lots of areas. For example, in Ms Myrie’s case, if cameras were installed, you might have been able to see if even some of what she said happened to her happen.”
Greta Marlin: “Well done Mr Prime Minister. The cameras came a bit too late for the recent accusations but time will tell who is right and who is wrong the next time around. I applaud the installation of additional surveillance cameras. Please make sure that maintenance is carried out periodically to ensure the cameras are functioning at all times”.
Piper Jordan: “Since the Immigration say that they have nothing to hide, what is the need for a total discussion then. A sector such as the immigration sector, should never be refusing cameras because that would show management and most importantly the public that they are following protocol at all times”.
Al Wright: “It’s about time – for the protection of property and staff. If everyone is performing their duty as expected, and ethically there should be no objection to them. Any claims brought against the agency can then be substantiated or discredited with the tape”
Leanne Fisher: “Cameras are a good thing because they would not only protect the people. They would be there to protect the workers too, against false accusations. [I] Can’t understand why the union would be opposed, especially after the Myrie situation, unless of course they have something to hide”.
Philip Newman Matthews: “There is no reason to oppose cameras, unless you have something to hide. If you do your work and do it within the law then you have nothing to fear “.
Amanda Lynch Foster: “It should have been done a long time ago. Kudos to the Prime Minister for how he approached it”.
Ashantia Howard: “Put the cameras there. My question is why is the union so afraid?”
Kevin O Reilly: “Only those who are not acting lawfully have anything to worry about with cameras. They do not lie; but merely record what is happening.”
Del N-Houle: “I’m gamed for cameras installed in places where there were not before. The reliable and trustworthy people should be the ones watching the cameras. There should be a security room if there’s not already. If there are accusations in the near future, it can prove whether it happens or not. If it does happen, at least the offending officer(s) can be found out. It will help get the bad apple(s) out but if allegations happen or not, it will also help to determine there’s truth to it or not.
Veronica Straker: “I thought the union was about representing its members and looking out for their best interest? Why would they be opposed to anything that is going to protect their members then? “
Keisha Lord: “There is nothing wrong with extra cameras, if you have nothing to hide there should be no objections. Extra cameras will benefit everyone involved especially at the airport. I am all for protecting the innocent and catching the guilty red handed, then there will be no room for error”.
(Compiled by Online Editor Carol Martindale)