…the greatest value of such recordings to any court system is that they can lead to out-of-court settlements…
In 2011 Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite indicated the roadblocks to allow video recording of interviews between police and accused persons should be removed. Two years later BU is aware those roadblocks have NOT been removed. Recently the question was asked in this forum why with the proliferation of mobile devices equipped to record audio and video such devices are not being utilized in crime fig
hting and its prevention in Barbados.
Section (20) 1 of the Barbados Constitution addresses a person’s right to communicate ideas and information without interference and freedom from interference with his correspondence or other means of communication EXCEPT for the prevention of crime or national security. There is a paucity of legislation in Barbados which addresses how mobile devices can be used in crime fighting. It is instructive to note in larger countries like the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, “evidence” recorded on devices such as computers and mobile phones, whether video or just audio is admissible in a court of law under certain conditions.
Research reveals courts tend to treat videotapes as photographs and hold them to the same verification protocols. The objections to their admission that must be considered by the courts are:
Related Link: Evidence Act 2007
The Late Dana Seetahal
All reports indicate Dana Seetahal was a model citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, an attorney, law lecturer, independent Senator, newspaper columnist are a few achievements which dotted her career. Despite all of her achievements she was murdered on the weekend by people unknown who attached no value to her life. The news of how she died should be worrying to Caribbean citizens for many reasons.
Trinidad like Jamaica are two of the largest islands in the Caribbean and have become known for high crime rates. Although the Caribbean has a reputation as a peace zone in a world perpetually gripped by violence there is no doubt that on the current trajectory this reputation will soon dissipate. Sadly our modern day leaders both political and non governmental lack the capacity to implement economic and social policies which are steeped in a relevant vision and philosophy.
The abject despair revealed by former Chief Justice of Barbados David Simmons when asked to comment about Seetahal’s murder should serve as a wakeup call that there is a vacancy for leadership in the Caribbean. And to those who continue to criticise Barbados Underground for being the purveyor of bad news for the last seven years how do you respond to Sir David Simmons’ comment which agrees with our view?
Submitted by Serenity
“…main drivers which develop a country or regress it is access to education, health and the feeling of security…”
Crime and why we will never be able to reduce the most violent manifestations of it.
In today’s paper NATION page 6a the defence for the recently concluded trial of the aggravated burglary of the Nation Newspaper offices in Fontabelle suggested the men be given a fine and that they are willing to pay back the money. Let’s examine the crime they were found guilty of by a jury. The facts which are no longer in dispute is that they planned the robbery a month in advance down to a change of clothes, used a firearm and threatened the persons present in order to steal.
Should the Court see fit to release these individuals it will set the following precedent for all such cases of aggravated burglary involving the use of a firearm. All former persons sentenced to anything but a fine and all future perpetrators of a similar crime could argue persuasively based on the judgement in this case. Therefore the message we are sending is that it is a trivial thing to enter into any building armed with a gun, threaten the lives of the persons present unless they comply and steal anything in the building.
Photo Credit: Barbados Today
The Fourth Estate plays a critical role to the proper functioning of a democracy, it must. Providing citizens with information which equips them to make the best decisions and at the same time act as a watchdog targeting those who act as gatekeepers of authority and influence in our society. Any attempt to sanitize, filter, manipulate information which it feeds to the public must be rejected as a fourth estate reneging on its obligation. The consequence is a compromised democracy.
In Barbados the media [fourth estate] is heavily self-censored. With the exception of a couple media practitioners there is a lack of respect for the profession by the decisionmakers and general public. It is fair to suggest that media workers demonstrate a lack of respect for themselves if we are to judge their inability to promote a vibrant union or association. The Barbados Association of Journalists (BAJ) does not even have an official website or Facebook presence in 2013 such is the inadequacy of how media workers see themselves.
Related Link: Statement issued by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ag) Crime, Lionel M. Thompson
Barbados is becoming like a war zone, with reports of shootings almost everyday by reckless and underemployed young men (they are almost always men). It is now taking on the characteristics of West Kingston in the mid-1970s when a surplus of arms fuelled the resentment of gangsters affiliated to the two dominant political parties. This aspect of Caribbean shootings has not yet raised its ugly head in Barbados, nor has the savagery of the murderous gangsters in Trinidad, although the choke and rob muggers of Guyana has been adopted by some Barbadian youths. In all this, the apparatus of law and order seems helpless, apart from a demand to better arm the policy and the unopposed willingness to put the Defence force on the streets and parading some of the West Coast beaches. It is a development that will eventually end in tears.
Crime and punishment is one of those subjects that have been raising people’s blood pressure since Adam and Eve. From the church to every man and woman at the street corner, we all have explanations for the break down in law and order. Those opposed to the drift in to a more repressive society (see: Stuart Hall: Drifting in to a Law and Order Society) are frequently forced to ask: whose law, what order. However, crime causation is the issue that pre-occupies most criminologists and criminal justice workers.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, overtime and extra duty removed from the Police Force announced in the recent Budget
Submitted by Posh
I read in the Barbados Today publication about the meeting held between the Force and persons who have a vested interest in the St. Lawrence area. I particularly noted that it was stated by Inspector Streeks that the mobile unit is sometimes only staffed once a week due to resources. For those who don’t know resources really means man/woman power. (Not trying to patronize anyone).
There are one perhaps two issues I’d like to identify and perhaps offer my own opinion as to what might assist this situation. Firstly, the man power situation within the RBPF is not going to improve any time soon and in fact is only going to become worse. With the end to overtime and extra duty, all short falls in man power which would previously have been reinforced by extra/overtime is now no longer an option.
Then you have the ugly side effect of morale, no extra duty means low morale for any police force and while it is unfortunate it is unavoidable. So this tourist season we should all be prepared for less patrols, less visibility and less presence. What might happen is that some areas might be left vulnerable while others are bolstered.
BU’s Note: Local media has reported that Pedro Caddle has turned himself over to authorities in the company of his Attorney at law on Friday 30, 2013. Given the nature of this matter BU withholds the name of the person who submitted this writing two days ago which was not picked up by BU.
One again, the police are seeking public assistance in locating Pedro Caddle, who is wanted in connection with a number of “serious criminal matters”. Pedro has been recently released from prison, where he has been held since 2011, following a May 2011 request for public assistance in locating the man, then too being sought in connection with a number of “serious criminal matters”.
Of course, Pedro’s venture into “serious criminal matters” began well before 2011. The readership may recall that Pedro was a victim of a shooting incident while at the QEH in 2002. Public transcripts on the ensuing trial state, “Pedro Caddle, a person who by his own admission is constantly in trouble and always being shot, went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on that day in question for dressing for one of his numerous gunshot wounds, and was shot again by an unknown assailant.”
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
The Honourable Mr. Justice Randall Worrell
We are in full support of High Court Judge Randall Worrell’s call to decriminalize marijuana for personal purposes. We are also in full support of his position that our court system is clogged up with old cases involving marijuana charges. We do not condone drug abuse in any form but we believe that if cigarettes can be legally sold, there should be sales of marijuana as well. At least we know that cigarettes destroy millions of lives annually and place tremendous pressure on health services.
We hope that a more progressive approach is used in assisting those afflicted with the addiction of marijuana. We strongly believe that prison should be used for the punishment and rehabilitation of hardened criminals and not those who for one reason or another find themselves addicts. We know that many kids today are addicted to their parents’ prescription drugs and there are those amongst us who are addicted to medication. Certainly a modern judicial system cannot continue to waste time, resources and prison space on what are unfortunate human maladies. Our kids today are under constant pressure and sometimes they fall victims to habits that cannot be cured by excessive floggings or imprisonment.
We are equally concerned about the use of alcohol by our very young citizens and find it very hypocritical, that we are content with turning a blind eye to the heavy intake of alcohol in our communities. Alcohol is also a drug and its addiction is widespread. We are also concerned about the role the heavy use of alcohol plays in instances of domestic abuse , the financial ruin of many families and non –productivity in the work place. If we intend to seriously tackle addiction, we must be prepared to do so at all level.