(Barbados Nation) CARICOM governments seem to be in a bind over what to do with their Implementation Agency for Crime And Security (IMPACS).
The security agency was set up for the ICC Cricket World Cup which was held in 2007, but it is still in existence and is placing financial strain on some CARICOM member countries.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart disclosed on Saturday on his return from the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Suriname that the agency was widely discussed, with some leaders suggesting that IMPACS be discarded.
But Stuart said he made it clear that Barbados’ position was against “throwing it overboard”.
“The big issue is the financing of IMPACS – it has become a very expensive exercise,” he told reporters. “They are those who believe that it should be jettisoned but the position I put – and I put Barbados’ position in this way – is that we take security in the region so seriously that regional Heads of Government elevated security to a fourth pillar of CARICOM.
“You can’t take a decision to elevate crime and security to a fourth pillar and then your principal institution that deals with crime and security you want to toss overboard. You may want to restructure it, or you may want to re-christen it, but you certainly cannot contemplate throwing it overboard.”
IMPACS has two sub-agencies, the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre, which operates in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Joint regional Communications Centre (JRCC), which operates in Barbados.