June 9, 2006
Police need more support from public


Congratulations to the residents of Georgetown and surrounding areas who assisted police with the apprehension of the men charged with the attack on the visitors at La Soufriere last week Tuesday.

It is reported that the residents of that northeastern town saw two men they did not recognize passing through the town, and being suspicious, they detained them, and took them to the police station for questioning. These two men were then able to lead the police to the two other accused.{{more}}

The actions by these alert citizens would certainly help to mitigate the public relations nightmare this crime has the potential to become.

Two other examples of this type of positive action by civilians were recently reported in Searchlight. Three members of the neighbourhood watch on Mayreau were presented with cheques for preventing a robbery aboard a yacht at Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau. On another occasion, two of these same Mayreau residents reportedly chased down a suspect who had jumped off a passenger boat heading for Union Island in an attempt to evade police. The men pursued him in a speed boat and handed him over to police.

We need more of this type of community cooperation to deal with the growing criminal element among us. The police force is made up of a mere 800 men and women. They alone cannot maintain law and order. They need our help now more than ever, as we live in a world where there are people who have chosen criminality as a career and work hard at perfecting their craft.

It is inconceivable that so many of the crimes committed in our small country cannot be solved. In this nation of just over 100,000 people, there must be persons out there who have information that can help police solve some of the over 50 unsolved murders committed in the last ten years. These murderers live in homes with families, they have friends, they hang out on the block, they have jobs.

Please understand that we are in no way calling on Vincentians to become vigilantes and take actions that would endanger themselves or their families. There are, however, many things we can do to be more helpful. We need to be more observant, keep an eye out for unusual activity in our neighbourhoods and do not by our actions or lapses in judgement make ourselves easy victims. Additionally, we have to stop supporting activity we know to be illegal, but brush off as “no big deal.”

For example, farmers have for years been complaining bitterly about predial larceny. In small rural communities where everyone knows who the farmers are, vendors and traffickers have no excuse to be buying produce from people they know do not farm a square inch of land.

This Carnival season, we think nothing of going out and buying a CD of pirated music to send to our relatives or friends overseas. If the pirates have no market for the music they stole, they would go out of business.

As the Prime Minister often says, let us narrow the space in which the criminals operate. Let us make sure crime does not pay, and that the criminals pay for their actions.