Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, has once again made it clear that crime in Barbados has not ???really??? risen, but has been steady compared with previous figures over recent years.
He made these comments as he addressed the ground-breaking ceremony to launch the Citizen Security Facilities Project in Hastings, Christ Church, today.
???Last year was not a good year for crime in Barbados. If you read the newspapers, social media or listened to mainstream media, Barbados seemed to be under attack by the criminal elements,??? he said.
But, the Minister stated while there was a seven per cent increase in reported crime last year compared with 2014 figures, the fact was 2014 was a ???special year???.
???In 2014, there was actually a decline of 14 per cent in crime on 2013 figures. But if you look at the statistics over the last couple of years, last year reported crime was below the average over the last six or seven years,??? Mr. Brathwaite pointed out.
However, he said that Government accepted that the level of gun violence was a cause for concern, and that there was a higher number of murders last year than over the previous five years.
???We accept that if citizens do not feel secure in their homes, then as a society we have serious issues. However, if we examine the statistics, it was never as bad as certain elements would have you believe,??? the Attorney General charged.
However, he did point out that Barbados and the region faced constant threats from elements such as organised crime; trafficking of illegal drugs and guns; gangs; cyber security; financial crimes; human trafficking and smuggling, and natural disasters.
???Given the threats with which we are faced, money would have to be diverted from our traditional areas of health and education to fight crime and security in this country.
???The reality that we face in this country today is that Barbados will never be the Barbados of 1975, of 1985, 1995 or 2005 ever again. This is a reality that we are faced with ??? internal and external threats unprecedented in our history. Given what is happening regionally and globally, we cannot assume that it will not happen in Barbados.
???Our economy is too fragile for us to take any chances. As a country, rather than discuss cutbacks in terms of crime and security, we have to allocate more resources to crime and security in this country,??? he said.??Meanwhile, he urged individuals and businesses to take some ownership for their own security as ???the Government cannot be all things to all men???.
Singling out businesses in particular, Mr. Brathwaite urged them to pay closer attention to their security. ???If you realise you have lighting challenges outside your business and your customers are coming, one would think there is a greater onus on you, a greater responsibility on you, to ensure that the surroundings are safe than it is for Government,??? he declared.