Police dub first month of gun amnesty a success
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April 5, 2024

Police dub first month of gun amnesty a success

The Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) has so far netted six firearms and over 100 rounds of ammunition, one month into the 91-day national gun amnesty.

The update was provided by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with responsibility for crime fighting, Trevor “Buju” Bailey on NBC Talk Yuh Talk Radio program on Tuesday April 2, 2024. The gun amnesty, the country’s first since 2001, was implemented on March 1, and comes to a close on May 31.

“I can report to St Vincent and the Grenadines that for the first month of the amnesty, we have received six firearms and over 100 rounds of ammunition. In comparison to the same period in 2001, we are doing exceptionally well because in the first month we had none for that amnesty.”

When the details of the gun amnesty were announced back in January, the police explained that it would be a ‘no questions asked’ amnesty, and gave the assurance of no prosecution, stating that persons who handed over weapons or ammunition will not face the court.

ACP Bailey said the police are upholding their end of the promise despite what quantity of guns or ammunition one person surrenders.

“For those six who have handed over, we have not heard of any being arrested or being taken before the court so we are living up to our word. In the amnesty document, we said that we are not going to ask any questions.

If an individual hands over five firearms to the police, we will accept, and the rules do not change. We say thanks for your cooperation…it doesn’t matter if you hand over one or forty.”

ACP Bailey highlighted the tremendous stress that gun-related crime continues to have on the country, not just the police force.

“We know for a fact that there are a lot of illegal firearms out there…and ammunition is out there as well. We all hear the cries of the mothers, fathers and children. Between 2021 and 2023, 75 percent of the persons killed by the use of firearms were 30 years and under. A good chunk of our young men, we are losing them through firearms.”

So far for 2024, nine homicides have been recorded, six of which have been committed with the use of a firearm. The country has also seen a number of shooting incidents, the most high-profile one occurring on the male surgical ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in March where a gunshot victim from Ottley Hall was shot again when two gunmen breached security at the healthcare facility.

Outside of the gun amnesty, the RSVGPF has also netted a number of weapons. An operation conducted in Edinboro on March 31, 2024, saw one 9mm Luger Pistol and six rounds of 9mm ammunition being confiscated, and on March 20, 2024, another operation also in Edinboro resulted in the police finding two 12-gauge shotgun cartridges.