Corey Lane, the Minister of State in Barbados’ Office of the Attorney General, recently criticized the Barbadian media’s crime situation reportage. He has accused the media of giving a false picture of the crime situation in the country.
“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 is a lot? The media,” he said at a meeting held by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), the country’s ruling party. Lane emphasized that he was not asking the media to hide anything. He did, however, say the media has created the perception that the crime rate is high. Lane pointed at the manner of reporting, saying the media “come and tell you two tourists get shot today, tomorrow, and the next day and you would swear that crime is the biggest thing against tourists.”
Lane, who is the Chairman of Barbados’ National Crime Prevention Plan, said “crime has been relatively stable over the years.” He also said that the crime rate against tourists had reduced by 142%. The politician gave a comparison between the reportage in Barbados and another island, claiming the latter’s media gave a more balanced style of reporting the crime situation. Lane lamented the current crime reportage in Barbados, saying it could affect the island’s tourism industry.
“Things do 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 report it,” he said, referring to a violent altercation that occurred between two school children that ended with one of them receiving treatment for stab wounds.
The US State Department’s Travel Advisory is at Level 1, warning travelers “to exercise normal precautions and avoid high-risk areas.” In 2022, Barbados recorded over 40 murders, which is more than the 32 from the previous year.