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Barbados still safe, says AG


Geralyn Edward

Barbados still safe, says AG

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Barbados’ murder rate is still among the lowest in the entire Caribbean and the country remains one of the safest countries in the region.
That was the declaration of the Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite as he reported on the current state of crime in the country while piloting a bill in the House of Assembly today  to validate the actions of the Police Complaints Authority since October 2011 when the appointments of two members had expired.
Giving statistics on murders in the country, he said in 2012 there had been 21 murders which was a decline from the 27 killings reported in 2011 and that was down from the 37 committed in 2010.
In addition, the Attorney General and Home Affairs Minister told the House that the Royal Barbados Police Force was able to clear up 18 of the 21 murders reported last year.
That success he described as tremendous work by law enforcers.
Comparing the situation at home to that of some neighbours in the Eastern Caribbean, Brathwaite revealed that St Lucia reported 50 murders in 2011, an increase on the 48 killings that country had the previous year.
In St Kitts Nevis, that nation had 34 murders in 2011 while 20 people were killed there in 2010 and in St Vincent 25 people were murdered in 2011 while 23 were reported in 2010.
The St Philip South MP said people were well aware of the levels of murder in islands like Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica and so there was no need to comment on the state of crime and murders in those countries.
Against this backdrop, Brathwaite said the local police force was working to reduce Barbados’ murder rate even further.
At the same time, the Attorney General conceded that there had been a 2.5 per cent increase in overall crime in Barbados with robberies and burglaries accounting for most of those reports which had been linked to the cash-for-gold trade.
In this regard, Brathwaite revealed to the House that since the passage of the Precious Metals and Second Hand Metals Bill 2013, there had been a falloff in cash-for-gold related crimes.
Though not providing statistics to support his claim, Brathwaite told the Lower House that the Police Force was recording a drop in these crimes and a positive impact on communities since the new law came into force earlier this year.
The senior member of Government further revealed however, that if the country did not benefit from further reductions in crimes such as robberies related to the cash-for-gold trade then additional steps would be taken.
He did not reveal what those steps would be. 

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