Police are calling for research to be done in communities as they seek to develop new strategies to fight crime across Barbados.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Erwin Boyce, made this point as he addressed the 10th Anniversary celebration ceremony of Crime Stoppers Barbados on Saturday night.
Mr. Boyce admitted that their current community policing approach took the form of crime prevention, but lacked the capacity to develop programmes to turn the community around. “It is because we go into communities where there is very little research done on the members of the community,” he said.
He explained that sometimes officers were sent into communities where there were between 10 to 15 people living in one household. That, he said, would create privacy issues and push young men on to the blocks and young ladies into other areas of activity.
“Because there is no privacy, it creates irritability. You find that family becomes cantankerous and aggressive. What exaggerates the situation is if there are not many people working within that family.
“While we do our fronts and our visibility and interact and get to the root of the problem, the challenge [that] remains for us is that we are operating in a situation where the information we have on individual households cannot sustain what we are doing,” he stated.
The Deputy Commissioner urged the respective ministries to develop the research capacity to assist lawmen with knowing what the “real problems” were in specified areas, so they would have a better idea on how to respond.
“What we have looked at from a strategic perspective over the last couple of weeks is to examine what drives the Deacons Road, Eden Lodge [communities], the blocks [and] the housing areas. What kind of criminal activity is developed in those areas as opposed to the New Orleans, Crab Hill or the Brittons Hill?…
“We would recognize that what I said, with understanding what sort of community, is critical to knowing how we would deal with the problem at block level and at street level. There needs to be a collaborative effort of all the partners and a meaningful effort to move people from one area to another area,” the Deputy Commissioner stated.
The lawman stressed that the development of relationships and the sharing of information was critical to police being able to ensure a safe and stable Barbados.