If you see it, report it!
That???s the call police are making to citizens across Barbados who may have witnessed crimes, particularly those involving the use of firearms, being committed, or know about illegal activity within their communities.
Acting Assistant Superintendent of Police in the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), David Welch, made this appeal during a recent interview with the Barbados Government Information Service on gun violence on the island.
???You see something, say something. You share the information. Sometimes someone may call the station and feel the information they have is too little, but we do not want persons to think that way. We encourage them to report all information that they would have, and we would take the necessary steps to investigate the information that was given,??? he said.
He also urged residents to report suspicious activity, particularly that involving the use of firearms and shootings in neighbourhoods.??Such reporting, he explained, involved persons giving the police information on who they knew were dealing in illegal firearms, as well as persons they knew to be in possession of such weapons.
Mr. Welch, who is also the RBPF???s Public Relations Officer, indicated that persons can use Crimestoppers Barbados to report crime; call the police hotline number at 429-2787; the police emergency number at 211; or the nearest police station. Alternatively, they can speak to a lawman, whether senior or junior, who they may know personally and in whom they have confidence to report such matters.
The Acting Assistant Superintendent gave the assurance that all information received would be treated confidentially, and persons making reports had the option of remaining anonymous.
In addition, he disclosed that the RBPF had developed its own strategy by partnering with border control agencies to stop the trade of illegal firearms, and working with partners and police officers internationally to stem the flow.
Without disclosing much on the Force???s strategy to tackling the situation, Mr. Welch stated that lawmen had already increased their visibility in certain ???hot spots??? in the day and at night, and engaged residents, mainly youth and other at risk persons, in other areas.
He added that lawmen had also forged relationships with other public and private agencies to deal with the social aspects involved, especially at risk persons. Noting that the Force???s strategy was not static, Mr. Welch said there were also plans to educate and continuously train lawmen in handling the changing environment.
Meanwhile, he urged those bent on committing violence to ???put the guns down!???