In perhaps his strongest rebuke to date on the influx of illegal guns into the country, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith today blamed what he said was corruption at the island’s ports of entry for the lack of success in stemming the weapons flow.
And Commissioner Griffith is calling on the good border security officials to give up the bad ones to the police.
“If you have a few people among you who are corrupt, then you have to be prepared to give them up. I say that to my officers. We are not going to sleep in bed with officers who we know are corrupt. We will do everything in our power to get rid of them,” he warned.
The top cop has previously said that the weapons on the streets were entering the country through the Bridgetown Port and Grantley Adams International Airport and blamed a lack of cooperation by certain border security officials for the failure of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to make the necessary arrests.
But it was the first time during a news conference at police headquarters on Roebuck Street this afternoon, that Griffith used “corruption” to underscore the reason for the unlawful entry of the arms and ammunition.
The top cop was responding to a question from Barbados TODAY about why the police continued to struggle with the issue of illegal guns imports rather than making arrests if it is known the weapons were actually coming through the ports.
“The reality is that where there is corruption, there will always be problems. And so, if the system is corrupt, then we are not going to get the information and support. You have to work together to break the back of those crimes. And so, even though the intelligence says that, you are not going to get that tip that breaks it,” he insisted.
The police commissioner was pressed further to state whether there was corruption at the Bridgetown Port and airport.
“There is corruption. There must be some form…there must be corruption if you are going to have the number of firearms that are coming onto our shores illegally…then there has to be corruption,” Griffith declared, adding that if there was collaboration and cooperation, a lot of people would get arrested.
“If you work alongside me and you are good and you don’t give me up who is bad…the police are not magicians; they depend on support,” he stressed.
The top cop said though that the force had been receiving a little more cooperation from border security officials than before. However, he expressed dissatisfaction with the level saying that it was still not good enough.
“Obviously it is helping. But as I said, you need as much cooperation as possible,” he said.