Often described as one of the countries with the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean, Barbados is willing to render assistance at a bilateral level, to other sister CARICOM states grappling with this issue.
This is according to Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, who engaged the media on Thursday, following the end of day one of the 28th Inter-sessional meeting of the conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. The meeting was held in Georgetown.
In 2015, 31 homicides were reported in Barbados while other countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago recorded 1,192 and 410 respectively.
And according to PM Stuart, this remarkably low figure is credited to a high detection rate.
“Barbados fortunately has not had to deal with those challenges. Our detection rate, when crimes have been committed, is very high. We try to make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
He explained that when a country has a detection rate of 15-20%, then that undermines confidence of the police force in that country.
“We know all of our CARICOM countries have delay in our justice system and that is a mountain we are trying to climb, but it helps people considerably to know, that when crimes are committed, the Police Force can be trusted and that keeps faith alive in the country” he said.
As such, Stuart committed that, “as far as possible, we will render whatever assistance we can to our colleagues in the Caribbean, to the extent that any advice we may give is thought to be able to benefit that country.”
He said that historically, Barbados has invested much effort in ensuring that the rule of law and not the rule of fancy or passion prevails in that country. He added that as a result of this, the country has not, since independence, had a “serious crime problem”.
The Barbadian leader was keen to point out though that from time to time, there are spikes in crime, but those have to do with particular phases the country is passing through at that time.
“Brining that experience of general stability to the table, we try to assist in whatever way we can, whether it be through advise, strategic planning and so on. We try to share these things with other countries and to a certain extent that helps” Stuart told reporters.
But even with assistance at a bilateral level, PM Stuart explained that crime is an issue which has to be solved in context, by decisions which are relative.
Crime and security was one of the issues featured on the agenda of the CARICOM meeting where approval of a regional arrest warrant treaty is expected.