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Joint effort ‘best’ for fighting crime

Carlos Atwell

Joint effort ‘best’ for fighting crime

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The Royal Barbados Police Force is adapting to deal with a variety of modern crimes but Assistant Commissioner Mark Thompson says it is necessary to form partnerships with the private sector in order to be more effective.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the three-day 34th Annual Crime Stoppers International Conference, yesterday at Hilton Barbados, Needham’s Point, St Michael, Thompson lauded the efforts of the international organization.
“The three thematic areas namely: trafficking in human beings and crimes against children; intellectual property crimes and trafficking in illicit goods; and corruption, financial crimes and financing terrorism represent current and consistent global law enforcement challenges.
“Being cognizant of this reality, the Royal Barbados Police Force supports this conference without reservation as a perfect opportunity of harnessing the power of residential, governmental, civil and corporate partnerships in very innovative ways and at different levels,” he said.
Thompson said human trafficking and crimes against persons represented the most brutal denial of basic human rights which was why he said the Police Force had established a specialized unit to investigate such crimes and had already reaped success.
“However, the stark reality is that any sustained effective action to prevent and combat trafficking in persons or crimes against children requires a comprehensive international approach in the countries of origin, transit and destination,” he said, adding this was where partnerships came in.
In addition, he said the force had formed specialized units dealing with cyber-crime; financial crime investigations and copyright but was facing problems dealing with the latter.
“One of the main reasons for this difficulty is that owners of the rights often reside outside our jurisdiction which shows that partnership creation and strengthening is a necessary precondition to successfully manage this type of transnational organized crime.
“Historically, the police forces sought to pursue crime management on their own to the exclusion of the public. Obviously, this approach to policing did not recognize the inherent value of partnerships but thankfully more mature considerations have led police executives to the understanding that police do not have the resources on their own to deal with the underlying causes of social decay,” he said.
President of Crime Stoppers International, Alexander MacDonald, said it would require new thinking and being open to new ideas if they were to have a chance to combat the ever changing face of crime.
“At a conference such as this there is the opportunity to learn, compare notes, share ideas and awaken our interest in doing things differently. Most of us, whether we like it or not, are creatures of habit . . . that is not to say we ignore new ideas.
“We need to understand what is happening in our communities today and how crime is affecting the people in our neighbourhoods. We may need new ideas on how we can help them get relevant information anonymously to the right sources. We need to be aware of the latest technologies and latest ideas that affect Crime Stoppers locally and internationally,” he said.
MacDonald said as crime had no borders and affected everyone, Crime Stoppers was keenly interested in the results of the conference.