There is a problem where the use of illegal firearms is becoming too rampant among society.
According to Commissioner of Police (Ag) Enville Williams, of the 47 homicides recorded so far this year, 43 were murders.
And of the 43 murders committed, 36 involved the use of illegal handguns, the Commissioner went on to say.
“We must not as citizens, as Vincentians allow this practice to be normalized as the way forward,” Williams told members of the media at a press briefing on Monday November 6, 2023.
“We must not accept these occurrences as normal and we should do everything in our power to rid the streets and our communities of illegal firearms and ammunition and the few rogue men and women who seek to use them to instill fear among our citizens,” he continued.
Williams encouraged members of the public to partner with the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force as they sought to tackle the issue of illegal guns and crime saying that keeping the nation safe was everybody’s business.
“I encourage therefore civic groups, neighborhood watches, religious organizations to join in solidarity with us (the police) as we make a Herculean effort to rid our streets if violence.”
“Yes, it is our job, but together we can do this to make St Vincent safe for all of us,” Williams said.
He appealed to the public that when they saw something, to say something.
“But there is a small sector of society, those who harbor criminals; those who shield them from police action and or prosecution to stop eroding the very society that you live in,” the commissioner said.
That sort of behavior was undermining the peace and safety of the public and he issued a caution to such individuals saying that if they continued to hide criminals then the police would come for them.
Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations Christoher Benjamin said that crime fighting was not just the business of the police, and that it was everyone’s responsibility.
“So, I am urging everyone in St Vincent and the Grenadines, let us work together to combat crime,” ACP Benjamin said.
He added that he knew the public wanted to know what measures the police have implemented to deal with crime, saying that they were working to keep everyone safe.
“If I outline to you exactly in detail what we are about to do, or what we are doing, it will defeat the purpose,” ACP Benjamin said.
He did say however that there will be an increased police presence.
“So, expect some inconvenience based on our initiative,” he said.
ACP Banjamin said that they will be present, and not so present – “So we’ll be there, and you will not know that we are there.”
He too encouraged people to come forward with information to bring the perpetrators of some of these gun related crimes to justice.
“Don’t wait until it affects you to come forward,” he said.