The Barbados Labour Party has condemned social media threats to public safety, and has called on the public not to be intimidated by criminal elements.
Stressing that it was still unclear if these threats are genuine or a hoax, Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Dale Marshall (above) said whether they were valid or not, Barbadians should not cower to such threats from criminal elements as this emboldens them.
He expressed the party’s full confidence in the police to get to the bottom of these threats and to safeguard the public in the last lap Crop Over activities.
The following is the full text of Mr. Marshall’s statement:
The Barbados Labour Party is aware of a disturbing video, as well as statements circulating on social media suggesting outbreaks of violence as we approach the climax of our annual Crop Over festivities this weekend.
Regardless of whether these are genuine or just pranks, they must be taken seriously as they are causing citizens an unnecessary level of discomfort.
We don’t want Barbadians to become alarmed, because we have no knowledge whether the video and statements are a hoax or not. Given the technology readily available, just about anything can be produced and easily disseminated via social media. However, there is that possibility that we have to guard ourselves against.
If it is a hoax, it demonstrates the level of depravity some people are willing to sink to. Because in an already tense environment where the daily reports of gun related violence have citizens feeling as if they are under siege, such a threat only contributes further to making Barbadians anxious and fearful.
If the threats are serious, then it underscores for us the dangerous state that our country has reached.
I urge all Barbadians not to cower to these threats from the criminal elements within our midst, if they prove to be genuine. To do so only emboldens them. Instead, report whatever you see to the police, anonymously if you like, and help them to rid our country of this growing menace.
Increased violent crime in our society does not benefit anybody. It is a scourge that has to be eliminated for the safety and peace of mind of all Barbadians regardless of their partisan perspective. We must work together to win back our streets and our communities from the growing criminal elements.
The Barbados Labour Party fully supports the efforts of the Royal Barbados Police Force to ensure a safe environment for Barbadians and visitors this weekend at the several events planned, and we know that they will be doing their very best in that regard. However, we too have a role to play, and we urge all those attending the last lap Crop Over events to be vigilant and on their guard as they participate in the festivities.
We encourage everyone to enjoy the final events of this year’s Crop Over to the fullest. But we urge you to be responsible in your behaviour – don’t imbibe and drive, resist any provocation to become violent, and be your brothers keeper.