Minister Corey Lane.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General with responsibility for Crime Prevention Corey Lane is pointing fingers at the media for giving the public a false impression about the current crime situation in Barbados.
In fact, charging that “crime has been relatively stable over the years”, Lane said the perception that crime is high is largely due to media reports, though he made clear that was not asking the media to “hide anything.”
“We have a relatively safe place but the conundrum is this, there is a massive disconnect between crime in Barbados and the perception of crime in Barbados. And you know what dictates our perception? What pushes us to have a perception that crime in Barbados a lot? The media. Crime against tourists down 142%, let my friend Stetson Babb with the latest come and tell you two tourists get shoot today, tomorrow and the next day and you would swear that crime is the biggest thing against tourists,” he said.
Speaking to an audience at a joint meeting for the St James branches of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at Queen’s College, Husbands, St James, Lane compared the island’s crime statistics to those in neighbouring islands. He stressed that Barbados was among the safest, but suggested that media reports had inflated the issue, citing reports of violent incidents involving students.
“Things happen in schools all the time, if you report incidents back-to-back your perception is that the schools are in chaos but things happen at schools all the time, it’s just how and when, and how regularly [they – Ed.] report it.
Just last Friday, two 15-year-old students from the Frederick Smith Secondary School were involved in an altercation that left one nursing multiple stab wounds. Lane, the chairman of the National Crime Prevention plan maintained that he was not prompting journalists to “hide anything” on behalf of his party or the country, but he urged them to be responsible in their reporting. He pointed to another island, with a lower population that recorded a higher murder rate than Barbados in 2022, and suggested that the media there was more responsible in its reporting.
He continued: “Their media down there tend to understand tourism is important so they got lead stories like ‘Big regatta next week’ in the front of [their newspaper.] In Barbados they report ‘Two dead last night’.”
He therefore voiced concern about the potential implication that the publishing of such news stories can have on tourists looking for respite from the cold.
“They take up two newspapers or go online, where do you really think they are going?” he asked. “They don’t understand their responsibility in reporting. It is not that you are hiding, it is that it doesn’t have to be in every lead story because it isn’t new,” Lane said.
The minister also spoke about his government’s plans to address the root cause of the crime scourge and what is required of all Barbadians, especially parents. ~ Barbados Today ~