Crime going down the drain
July 10, 2009
Crime going down the drain

A beaming Commissioner of Police (COP) Keith Miller has declared the Carnival Master Plan of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force a great success.{{more}}

“There was a high level of police presence. People have called me to congratulate the police,” COP Miller told SEARCHLIGHT. “Generally, Carnival from a police perspective has been very successful,” he said.

Miller said that following the recently concluded anti-crime operation dubbed “Vincy Pac”, he instructed his officers to continue to pile on the pressure on the criminal elements in the urban areas. He said that during Vincy Pac, “a number of guns went in hiding” and the police’s strong presence forced the criminals to keep the guns off the streets.

COP Miller said it was good to hear people call in on the radio talk shows congratulating the police for helping to keep Carnival safe.

Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Brinsely Ballantyne, is also hailing this year’s Carnival a success. “I have to admit, this was one of the best Carnivals ever for the police force and for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Crime is going down the drain,” he told Searchlight on Wednesday this week.

The proud Superintendent praised the entire police force especially for their commitment and quick response throughout the entire Carnival season. “I cannot go without commending them. They were everywhere in town this season, and I know the public felt secure once they were there,” Ballantyne noted.

According to Ballantyne, a total of 67 reports were made to the CID between the period of June 26 to July 7, 2009, a decrease from the 81 reports which were made in 2008 during the period June 27 to July 8. The crimes committed this year included pick pocketing, assault and a few robberies.

Ballantyne added that the decrease in crime was proof of the effectiveness of the police, not only in the city but also in the rural areas. “Our stop and search was executed very well, and we had no reports of any guns being confiscated from persons,” Ballantyne added. In addition, to help beef up security, officers from the rural police stations were also brought on board to assist with security.

For the Carnival Monday “jump up” and Tuesday Mas, the two days Ballantyne described as the most hectic of the season, all leave for officers was suspended.

Ballantyne mentioned that senior officers also patrolled the streets from time to time, something which he thinks helped to motivate others in the police force to pitch in where necessary. The public also came in for high praise from Ballantyne. “I have to thank the public for their cooperation and not trying to take the law into their own hands,” he stated.

Testimony of the decrease in crime was clearly evident at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday, as seats in the courtroom were available for prisoners and the media, a rare occurrence the day after Mardi Gras.

Police prosecutor Inspector Nigel Butcher said that the police ought to be highly commended for their efforts this year in their fight against crime and violence. Supporting Ballantyne’s view, Butcher said: “I think it was one of best carnivals ever, and I just wish that it will continue this way for years to come.”(KW /KJ)