Nothing but the truce!

The numbers don’t lie, says Minister of State in the Attorney General’s Office with Responsibility for Crime Prevention Corey Lane.

He said just a conversation with Barbadians indicates that in relation to major crime, things are much quieter on the streets since a truce between rival gangs was brokered in February last year in a bid to reduce gang violence and firearmrelated killing. Lane had organised a meeting between community leaders from various St Michael districts, including New Orleans and Chapman Lane in his City of Bridgetown constituency.

Rival members of “Choppers” from Chapman Lane, and “Red Sea” and “64” out of Deacons, whom authorities believed were primarily at the heart of much public gunplay, met each other in Chapman Lane and agreed to a truce.

In the weeks and months after, things did quiet down. Last month, Commissioner of Police Richard Boyce said police were pleased that the murder rate had dropped significantly when compared to the previous year.

Yesterday, Lane, while attending an event at St Stephen’s Primary School in Black Rock, St Michael, for an 11-year-old child author, was asked by reporters about the success of the truce.

Less than half

“Let the public judge for themselves. Numbers don’t lie, but sometimes analyses do. You can look at the numbers over the years and see homicides were in the 40s before. You have noticed we had 15 (murders) for every 100 000 (people) which is how it is measured globally for a homicide rate. But at the end of last year we were at less than half (21 murders) which puts us to seven out of every 100 000.

“I would like people to look at the numbers and judge for themselves,” he said.

Lane revealed his office was now concentrating on direct intervention clubs, aimed at attracting young people who are not involved in an already existing social framework. He added the aim for the programme, launched on Wednesday, is to go into every demographic of Barbadian society.

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