RSVGPF hoping for succesful gun amnesty
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Frankie Joseph
February 16, 2024
RSVGPF hoping for succesful gun amnesty

In an effort to make the upcoming gun amnesty more successful than the last one that was extended over two decades ago, law enforcement in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), have added new provisions aimed at netting more illegal firearms.

The Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), has been engaging the public in a series of walkthroughs and town hall meetings in communities across the length and breadth of the nation since the amnesty was first announced at the independence day parade in October 2023.

“We thought that the gun amnesty was not as successful as we would like it to be. In 2003 the only persons receiving surrendered firearms were police,” Deputy Police Commissioner, Frankie Joseph told those attending a recent gun amnesty town hall meeting in Calliaqua.

New provisions allow for a range of persons to accept firearms, including Head Teachers of educational institutions; Ministers of religion; lawyers; as well as Justices of the Peace.

Deputy Commissioner Joseph reiterated the “no questions asked” clause, promising that the legal document which governs the amnesty dictates that prosecution will not follow after the weapons are handed over.

“We stand by this document…if you have 20 weapons and you surrender 20 weapons you can drop them to the agent and go free.”

Some at the town hall meeting, though, expressed their disapproval with this clause, telling the top brass of the RSVGPF that they would be letting criminals slip through their fingers.

One resident questioned why ballistic testing would not be carried out on weapons after they are surrendered.

“We already have four murders for this year, and three murders are firearm related…I am also calling on parents and guardians who know that their children have illicit firearms, encourage them to surrender.”

The 91-day gun amnesty runs from March 1 to May 31.

Town hall meetings continue in Georgetown and Chateaubelair this week and next week.