Soldiers in the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) may be called upon more to assist the Royal Barbados Police Force in ensuring public safety and conducting general anti-crime patrols.
This was announced by Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, as he delivered the feature address at the BDF’s 38th anniversary parade and sunset ceremony at St. Ann’s Fort, Garrison, St. Michael, last Saturday.
Speaking against the backdrop of increasing gun violence and gun-related crime, the Attorney General said: “You, the men and women of the Force must stand ready to answer such as call to quell this scourge, this menace to our society.
“You must stand together, stand and be counted as part of a strong Force; a vanguard which will not allow a few miscreants to threaten this small island and dictate to the masses with their deviancy.”
Mr. Brathwaite noted that the BDF has assisted police in various counter narcotics operations.
He disclosed that these operations resulted in the seizure of $36 million in drugs, of which there were 11,400 pounds of compressed marijuana; 28,000 marijuana plants; and 370 kilograms of cocaine. In addition, these joint operations have also resulted in 17 vessels being seized and 51 persons being apprehended.
The Attorney General noted that since the BDF’s inception in 1979 to guard against primarily external threats of a military nature, a changing global society had created the need for Barbados to be vigilant and cognisant that it was not immune to home grown or external threats to its sovereignty.
Mr. Brathwaite also pointed out that the BDF lent its support at national events such as the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Barbados celebrations, and the just- concluded Exercise TRADEWINDS 2017, which was touted as a huge success.
The Attorney General, who also sits on the BDF’s Defence Board, assured the BDF of Government’s “unswerving support”. “You are a critical factor in maintaining public order. You are a valued part of the national fabric of these 166 square miles,” he stated.