Prime Minister Mia Mottley said she will address the nation in the “next week to 10 days” on the hot-button issue of crime, highlighted by a “spike” in shootings that has plagued the island in recent weeks.
Mottley said she supported the view that the shootings and crime in general was a whole of society issue that needed everyone in Barbados to take a stand to prevent lawlessness from getting out of control.
“I will speak to you to reinforce the message of the Attorney General and Commissioner of Police, but not (now),” she said during a televised national address on Thursday to announce measures to curb the rising cost of living.
“I will appeal to you in general now, especially after (Wednesday) again, that every citizen of this country needs to recognise that we need a whole of country approach if we are to overcome all of these challenges.”
She said: “Not just the inflationary ones, but the ones hitting us all at once, whether they are social, or related to crime, or economic, or environmental.
“These (cost of living) measures that I have introduced are part of a multi-faceted approach, and each citizen, each Barbadian, and each person resident here has a role and a part to play.”
Mottley reminded the nation about her well-rehearsed mantra that “we are all in it together” to inspire Barbadians to be their brother’s keeper.
“Being in this together means that we are not only responsible for ourselves, but you and me, we are responsible for each other,” she said.
“We will not survive these trying times by pulling against each other, or by clutching on to narrow interests. In 166 square miles, none of us can hide.”
She said: “The attempts to keep everyone’s head above water requires mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and families and friends not to uphold those whose involvement in reckless criminal activity is undermining our best efforts nationally and internationally.
“Not only does it compromise the safety of all of us, but it compromises our capacity to attract tourism and other investment revenue that keeps our people in jobs and keeps our heads above water, and keeps us, as a government, to do more to help you as citizens.”
Mottley said Barbadians also had a duty to call out lawlessness in any form when they see it.
“We must see it as our responsibility to reprimand and call out anyone, whether in the commercial sector, in our communities, in the social sector who feel that it is their business to engage in activity that is deplorable, and unacceptable, or indeed, criminal,” she said.
“Being in this together mean you must help us to help you. Help us in the rebuilding of this nation.”
Mottley said she will also be addressing the nation about the issues surrounding social security in the same period.