Sir Marston: Criminals have changed
Criminals in Barbados have gone from being the praedial larcenists of yesteryear to being users of a more sophisticated network that is stashing guns, bullets and big bank accounts.
This was declared by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson who lamented that crime here had become much more organised today.
“If you are thinking that what we are battling is the gentleman who waits in the dead of night to go to steal 80 pounds of cassava, that is not the criminal that we are looking at,” he warned.
He said they were now looking at criminals who had guns, endless amount of ammunition and also had money deposited in the bank. They were not merely run-of-the-mill criminals, but were acting in concert with other people, he added.
Sir Marston was speaking yesterday during the opening session of the three-day first annual conference of the Department of Public Prosecutions at Accra Beach Hotel. It was held under the theme Strengthening Our Capacity To Combat Cybercrimes And Other Organised Crimes.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, who also addressed the conference, said cybercrime and transnational organised crime were major threats to this island and the region.
He noted that in 2013 when CARICOM adopted a Crime Security Agenda, cybercrime and transnational organised crime were not a Tier 1 threat. However, four years later, that had changed.
In response to the changes, Brathwaite said a National Cybersecurity Strategy aimed at providing a “robust cyber defence framework and systems” was being devised for Barbados. It was expected to include a revision and revamp of legislation, including the Computer Misuse Act, Electronic Transactions Act, Telecommunications Act and Copyright Act.
He promised that by the end of November, civil asset forfeiture legislation would be before Parliament.
“What we are faced with as a region and as a country is real. We have seen more attacks on our Government infrastructure [cybercrime-wise] and on private infrastructure,” he said.
The conference, which also touched on money laundering, safety measures and special witnesses, was funded in part by the British High Commission and the United States government. (LK)