Carriere Neighbourhood Watch celebrates
March 18, 2005

Carriere Neighbourhood Watch celebrates

Crime in the Marriaqua Valley decreased by 25% in 2004 and the Carriere Neighbourhood Watch Group has been credited as one of the main contributing factors to that positive change in the crime statistics for the community.

The group celebrated its 2nd anniversary with a march and rally on Sunday March 6. Approximately 200 residents faced the blazing afternoon sun and marched to the beat of the Richland Park Melody Makers from the Streams of Power Church at Carriere to the junction at the Skills Training Centre for the rally. {{more}}

The theme for the event was “Let us Work Together, Let Peace Reign.” The rally was a blend of addresses, spiritual songs, message from the word of God and prayers, which were offered for unity, peace and love.

President of the Carriere Neighborhood Watch, Muriel Davis said focusing on the positive helped the group to overcome the challenges with which it was confronted over the past year.

In his remarks, Commissioner of Police William Harry said the establishment of the neighbourhood watch groups came out of the recognition that the community has a vital role to play in crime prevention and reduction. He said, “Unless the people come aboard and join with the police, we will not be in a position to stem the tide of crime and violence in our community.”

Commissioner Harry said it is his dream to see the setting-up of community consultative groups throughout the country and he hopes the first one would be established in Marriaqua by early next year. He said the consultative groups would involve all the major stakeholders in the community working together to identify problems and devising means of alleviating them.

Reflecting on four murders which occurred in the community, Area Representative Girlyn Miguel called on the residents of Carriere to respect life. She applauded the group for organizing and staging the march because she saw it as an effective way of fighting crime.

“When we march we are pronouncing war on evil. When we march…we pronounce defeat on the enemy,” she said.

In his address, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made reference to the four murders that have been committed this year and noted that they all occurred because of people’s excessive behaviour especially the use of alcohol. He then made the call for men to control their drinking and to walk away when they are involved in a quarrel instead of reaching for a weapon.

Minister of National Security Sir Vincent Beache delivered the feature address. Beache pointed to the fact that most crimes are committed by the male factor and attributed that to them not being involved in community activities. “Something is wrong with the society when men don’t seem to care,” Beache said. He said women must now play a more critical role in crime prevention and control.

According to Beache, some incidents of violence could be avoided if people are more tolerant. “We seem today not to be able to control our emotions,” he said. “As soon as somebody does something you get annoyed and want to become violent.”

Director of the National Commission on Crime Prevention Genita Lewis and Senator Gerald Shallow also made remarks at the rally.

There are seven neighbourhood watch groups in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The groups were established to give people the opportunity to play an active role in the security and safety of their respective communities.