The Commission on Advocacy and Social Justice has rejected claims the rise in violent crime can be explained by the Caribbean’s stagnant economy.
The Anglican Commission on Advocacy and Social Justice of the Diocese of Barbados has rejected claims the rise in violent crime across the West Indies can be explained by the region’s stagnant economy. In a statement released last week by committee chairman John Goddard, the commission said “the members of the commission note there is a popular view which links increased crime to a depressed economy. In our judgment that is a simplistic view which we do not share. We assert there must be other explanations for the gun violence now driving fear into the hearts of Barbadians.” Barbados has until recently escaped the wave of drugs-fueled violent crime that has plagued neighboring Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica,and from 2013 to 2014 the number of murders and robberies declined on the island. However, a series of high profile crimes this year has sparked concern the situation may change. The Advocacy and Social Justice Commission called upon the government to increase funding for the Royal Barbados Police Force and adopt a community policing policy that places more officers on the street. They also urged the private sector to support academic research at the University of the West Indies that would shed light on the changing sociology of crime in the Caribbean.