July 9, 2010
COP Miller commends Carnival lovers

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller is commending Vincentians for cooperating with the police and making Vincy Mas 2010 peaceful and successful.{{more}}

“I have to commend citizens for behaving themselves and making our jobs easier. The public was generally cooperative,” Miller noted.

In an interview with Miller on Wednesday, July 7, the top cop said that the public behaved exceptionally well and a big part of that success is attributed to the long hours put in by members of the Rapid Response Unit, Criminal Investigations Department and the Special Services Unit.

Miller said the police presence served as a major deterrent for criminal activities.

Spearheading a new approach for the constabulary, Miller said that the Force is aiming to be more proactive, rather than reactive. “We are targeting problematic areas such as beaches, Ottley Hall, Edinboro and Pole Yard in Arnos Vale,” Miller said.

The strong police presence was evident throughout the weekend, as members of the RRU and plain clothes police officers could be seen mingling with the crowd on the streets of Kingstown.

Kudos were also extended to the vendors, who in the Commissioner’s estimation complied with the rules laid out in a meeting last Friday.

He, however, said while most citizens complied with the police, there were still some persons who did things their way.

He noted that some persons had to be asked to leave the beach after they were found there at late hours. “We know most of these incidents are perpetrated at the beach at nights and we had to ask people to leave for their own safety,” Miller said.

Miller also believes that much of the success of Vincy Mas 2010 is the fact that the police have been informing and educating the public about crime and violence and ways to protect themselves, leading up to the the carnival season.

“…because of the messages, we operated with as much strictness as possible. We believe that a scissors or a two inch sharp instrument can take a life…we have to treasure life and we as police are here to protect the public,” said Miller.

Describing the week leading up to Carnival as disastrous, with several incidents of crime, including the murder of Redemption Sharpes resident Esron Ells, Miller said that persons are now starting to understand the effects of crime and violence.

Miller disclosed that at Ells’ funeral last Sunday someone approached him after the funeral service and handed over their pistol to him.

“Police presence is a big deterrent and we are definitely gaining grounds on criminal activities. We have to use every possible method to get across to people,” stated Miller.

Miller expressed his disappointment at some persons who found it fit, especially around J’Ouvert time, to vandalise people’s vehicles.

Up to press time on Wednesday, an official report of crime and violence statistics for the weekend had not been released.