Submitted David Comissiong, President, People’s Empowerment Party
According to Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, not only is he not to be blamed for our country’s violent crime problem, but he knows who or what is to blame, and he is letting us all know that the roots of Barbados’ violent crime problem are located in dysfunctional communities and in a deficient education system.
Well, if Brathwaite was possessed of this invaluable knowledge back in 2008 when his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration took overs the reins of government, and he — the Government’s chief legal officer — has done little or nothing over the past 8 years to address these root causes of the problem, he should be called upon to resign from office!
Alternatively, if— after more than 8 years in office — Brathwaite has only now become aware of the root causes of the crime problem, that too would be a compelling reason for his resignation or termination!
However you look at it, Brathwaite has failed in his duty, and is proving to be a useless Attorney General!
Way back in January 2008, when Brathwaite was begging the people of Barbados to elect him to office and to give him responsibility for dealing with the country’s problems, the Peoples Empowerment Party (PEP) published a Manifesto in which we identified dysfunctional communities and a deficient education system as root causes of crime and other social ills.
The PEP 2008 Manifesto stated as follows:-
“Saving Barbados From Crime”:
. The existing deep pockets of unemployment in various communities will be tackled! We do not want a society in which people drift into drug trafficking and crime because of unemployment, poverty and hopelessness. Every community that exhibits this vulnerability will be the target of a governmental intervention programme that offers counselling, jobs and work/study programmes to the unemployed residents.
. A National Consultation On Crime will be staged as a matter of urgency under the auspices of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF). The “National Consultation” will consist of a series of community based “groundings” involving senior officers of the RBPF and the people of Barbados. Not only will it produce new ideas and insights on fighting crime, but it will also go some way towards developing enhanced levels of confidence and trust in the Police.
.Various studies have shown that there is a direct link between violent video games and movies and the commission of crimes of violence. Video games based on mind-bending violence will be banned from Barbados, and a much stricter censorship policy will be applied to movies and DVDs featuring graphic violence.
. In recognition of the fact that at least one half of convicted offenders are afflicted with drug or alcohol addiction problems , Government will construct a major drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, and will provide the law courts with a small team of psychologists who will be available to interview, examine and treat offenders and proffer advise and recommendations to Magistrates.
Free And High Quality Education For All
. The system of dumping all the low academic achievers in 5 or 6 Secondary Schools at the bottom of the ladder and all the high academic achievers in 5 or 6 Secondary Schools at the top of the ladder must be scrapped! We will sit down with the professional educators and their organizations and work out a more just, sensible and constructive system.
. We will ensure that weaker students who need greater assistance get it, in the form of smaller classes, more individual attention and access to remedial education teachers and programmes.
. A comprehensive trade-centred adult education and skills training programme for all young adults who did not receive proper education and training in the School System will also be established, building on the foundations laid by the Skills Training Programme and the Polytechnic.
. Government will make a sacred and binding commitment to the maintenance of free University education for the young people of Barbados.”