Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made a promise to Vincentians when he took office in 2001; he promised Vincentians that he will be very hard on crime and criminal activities. Did he deliver? Yes! I think he did. He employed more Vincentians as police officers; he got proper training for the police officers; he built and repaired numerous police stations; he equipped them with proper working vehicles; he strengthened legislation dealing with gun-related crimes and he strengthened the Magistracy; yet some Vincentians are still blaming Dr Gonsalves for the increase in crime and criminal activities. I think itâs very unfair to do so.
We, as Vincentians, should pay close attention to ourselves and see where we are going wrong, in terms of crime and its prevention. The question many Vincentians are asking is why are we seeing a different trend in crime and criminal activities? Yet no one can find the answer to this question. Should we blame unemployment, greed, lifestyle choices, temptation, desperation, drugs and money? Another question that is being asked by Vincentians is why are most young persons involving themselves in crime? As a Vincentian, it is very unsettling to see the high crime rate in this country. With all the training the police officers are receiving, can we honestly say enough is being done to prevent crime?
Robbery, gun related crimes, kidnapping, breaking of vehicles, stealing of vehicles, house burglary and physical abuse done by families seems to be a trend in our country and a serious effort should, and must be made to stop this, because it is creating problems for all Vincentians.
In this day and age, we, as Vincentians, are prisoners in our own home and we are afraid to go out at nights. Vincentians have stopped being their brotherâs keepers. Persons who are involved in crime are getting better at what they do and we must find ways to beat them at their game.
How can we help the police solve crime? Be mindful about our surroundings; be more security conscious; look out for each other; choose your friends wisely; go places in groups; inform someone about where you are going and how long you plan on staying; be mindful someone is always watching you and inform the police at the Royal Police Force about any information regarding crime and criminal activities. If you feel uncomfortable talking to the police, then find one you can trust. Donât give your name when giving information; if the officer insists you give your name, then withhold your information.
Fighting crime and criminal activities is every Vincentianâs business; this is the only way in which we can put a handle on crime. Some may say that we have to tackle crime from the top because we had a registrar prosecuted of a white collar crime; a police officer was recently convicted and sentenced to serve three years; and parliamentarians have been caught driving without valid licence and insurance. These are all crimes committed by people of influence. Should these crimes be ignored? Remember this country belongs to all of us.
Some questions for Commissioner Michael Charles about those Vincentians who live and commit crime abroad â Is data being kept on these individuals? Could they be blamed for the new trend of crime we are seeing today? Do you think your police officers can deal with this new trend of crime?
Vincentians need to come together as a nation to put a stop to this crime. We canât allow our country to be damaged by this situation. We must all remember that we are not above the law, no matter your position in society. Persons of influence must be very mindful of the way they behave, because Vincentians are easily influenced. So, let us be aware of our situation and work together to put a stop to this menace that is lurking in and around our country. Take Vincy back to the good old days, where we had our brothersâ back and looked out for each other. So, come together and letâs be rid of this menace.
Kingsley De Freitas