In an effort to combat transnational organised crime, which has impacted on Barbados??? security, Government is ensuring that the necessary framework is in place for members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to function effectively.
Acting Attorney General, Michael Lashley, gave this assurance over the weekend while delivering the feature address at a retirement function held for Officers attached to the Bridgetown Division, at Solidarity House.
Mr. Lashley noted that as crime became more sophisticated, it was necessary for law enforcement officers to develop the skills and abilities to be proactive and respond.
Acknowledging that policing had become a highly-specialised discipline which had to be able to address from the most simplistic of crimes to the most complex illegal enterprises, the Acting Attorney General pointed out that most of these offences originated in cyberspace and involved international players.
???While we continue to place these major demands on our policemen, Government recognises that there must be an enabling environment to promote the successes being demanded. Hence, even in the period of economic restrictions, Government continues to provide the Force with its renewed fleet of vehicles requested annually, protective personal equipment and other paraphernalia which the High Command might present for funding,??? he stated.
Mr. Lashley disclosed that Cabinet had recently approved an upgraded telecommunication system costing BBD$5.7 million to better facilitate police communications internally and among other first responders.
???This project includes provision for upgrading the tower network and, when completed, will allow for the addition of modules such as Geographic Positioning System (GPS) tracking, automatic vehicle location, E911 and video, all of which are critical to improved operational efficiency. Along with actually upgrading the system, permission has been given for the purchase of 48 hand radios costing BBD$660, 742,??? he revealed.
The Minister said that in 2014, the RBPF was able to purchase a high-speed boat to the tune of BBD$ 850,000. He told his audience that this was approved following representation that there was a need to increase capability in marine activities related to search and rescue operations, pursuit and boarding of vessels and towing of other vessels.
He further explained the purchase was also intended to enhance the response in traversing the coastal waters of Barbados at relatively high speeds.