The newly appointed Commissioner of Police (Acting) Enville Williams is calling on local media organizations not to join the bandwagon of persons bashing the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGF) but rather, to come together to develop media strategies which could assist in the fight against crime.
CoP Williams, in a recent interview with SEARCHLIGHT, said he believed there was more to the relationship between the media and the Force than “just press releases”.
He said collectively, the print media, broadcast stations and online print are able to reach a wide cross section of people and, with the right messages, there can be a dent in the crime statistics.
“Too often the media assumes the responsibility of bashing the police on the head without realizing that they have a role to play in this whole grand scheme of things.
“I want to challenge the media to partner with us because you have a voice and your voice matters … to reach those persons who are at risk to becoming offenders, to reach the young and the vulnerable so together we can have a society that we are all proud of.”
The Commissioner said he, along with the Public Relations team, is willing to meet with media houses to develop media strategies for the dissemination of information related to crime prevention.
“We can have a sit down and formulate a plan where they work to reduce incidents of crime. I do feel in my heart of hearts that if the media does get on board … we can do much more because you have a voice that reaches a vast majority of our population. You can use your platform to help us to do the things that we do.”
Collaborative work, the CoP noted, is also expected to intensify in communities across the country. He highlighted a series of community-policing initiatives that were implemented under the former Commissioner, Colin John, adding they had begun to bear fruit and will be tweaked and improved as needed.
He pledged that communities, particularly those that are plagued by crime, will continue to see an increased police presence.
“The intention is to continue the walkthroughs in general and in hotspot areas to meet the public.”
The CoP also disclosed a new set of plans which would improve the public-police relationship including the relaunching of neighbourhood watches in communities where they existed before and setting up in new communities. He also said the goal is to have town hall meetings as part of the community-policing initiative which will give the two groups the opportunity to hear each other out and hopefully, lead to a better relationship between police and the public.