July 12, 2020

Newly elected ACCP President, Baines, commits to better safeguarding people

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bainesAssociation of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) Conference and AGM in Bermuda

29th April to 02nd May 2013

The 28th AGM of the ACCP saw 17 nations represented by their Police Commissioners at the Conference held in Bermuda. The theme and focus of their discussions was:-

‘Joining up Police and public partnerships; prevention, intervention and enforcement strategies to tackle gang and youth violence.’

Keynote speaker:

Professor David Kennedy; Director of Crime Prevention and Control of Criminal Justice at John Jay College New York set the scene by an alarming descriptor of youth and gang violence, all too evident within our regions and countries where violence, guns and gangs, have become normative. He described one district in the U.S where death rates of young men were sixty five (65) times the national average, and gang members described murdered friends as having lived a full life when killed at 21 years of age.

The alienation of sections of our youth within communities in the Caribbean was a common feature of many presenters at the conference.

Presenters:

Academics, Educationalists, Youth Workers, Community activists and Law enforcement representative from the region and internationally all addressed the conference and gave attendees a wide variety of approaches and efforts to prevent, intervene of use enforcement to stem the violence and stop the killings. It is clear that nations have very different contexts in which they operate, different poverty levels, different capacities and that a one size solution does not exist. Every attendee went away with a better awareness of potential solutions; and relationships upon which to build and share information of what works, and to apply it to the improved security and safety of the nations of the Caribbean.

The Commissioners also reviewed actions to stop the flow of illicit weapons to the region, working with US Federal authorities to stem the trade from US sources into the Caribbean. The increased numbers of gun dealers in Florida is a feature in fuelling the supply and access to guns by criminal gangs. US authorities have confirmed that of recovered weapons used in Criminality in the Caribbean, the majority are originally from the Florida area.

The ACCP committed to the sharing of all crime scene ballistics data secured in their own Countries, to be cross compared across the region. RIBIN is a technical solution that digitally stores bullet and bullet casing data and cross compares with all other crime scene data, being able to connect a given cartridge to an identified weapon, or having been fired by the same weapon at different scenes or in different countries.

The commitment to share data will enable faster identification of criminally held weapons, the routes used to smuggle into the region, and ability to link a recovered firearm to every crime scene it has been used at, and evidence the criminal’s use of that weapon.  One example shared with the Commissioners identified a single weapon used in over 16 separate murders.

The agreement by all Commissioners will see that capability available to all countries within the Region in the coming months and as soon as electronic connectivity has been established. The faster we can identify, link and remove weapons from the criminals the quicker we can be in stopping the violence and safeguarding our communities.

Saving the Lives of Victims:

Chief Chris Howell, addressed the conference, describing himself as the ‘luckiest man in the room’ as he described his and Constable Elsworth Jones experienced of being ambushed whilst on anti -robbery patrol, by criminals armed with AK 47 Assault rifles, and the experience of watching his arm ‘explode’, his colleague being shot in the face and losing an eye; and how his prior training and the immediate availability of a simple inexpensive trauma kit enabled him to stem the bleeding and save his own life.

The ACCP have accordingly committed to the securing of trauma kits and the training in the use for every police officer and police vehicle in the region.  By doing so, we will not only better equip and safeguard our officers, but we will be better equipped to save the lives of gun victims, when minutes mean the difference between life and death.

The newly elected President of the ACCP, Commissioner David Baines of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said:

“We came to Bermuda, committed to better safeguarding our people, we have shared actions, initiatives, legislation and solutions, all of us leave better equipped to deal with the problems we face in our own country.

“The resolutions to establish RIBIN and Trauma training are about strategic capacity building, intended to stem the flow of weapons into the region and stop the violence and killing, and more literally to stem the flow of blood and save a life, when minutes mean the difference between life and death for a gunshot victim.

“Commitments only mean something when they are acted upon and the words and intentions uttered in Bermuda are evidenced in practice on the streets of the nation’s we protect. It is my promise I will do all in my power to secure the sponsorship, equipment, training and in supporting Colleagues across the region to make this commitment a reality.”

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