Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday. (iWN file photo)

Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday, on Tuesday, said that as president of the New Democratic Party and a citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, he is “alarmed by the most recent spate of violent killings in our country”.

He further accused the government of dismissing some of the deaths as killings that law-abiding citizens need not worry about, as they result from criminals settling scores.

Friday noted at a press conference in Kingstown that SVG has recorded 16 killings for 2018.

“While that number is alarming, as a reminder, in 2003, there were only 11 murders in SVG,” he said.

He said that the recent “spate of four killings” in one week has created even greater alarm, which prompted NEWS784, a website, to exclaim in a headline: “Death Spree! Four in A Row”.

The opposition leader noted that the most recent killing occurred on Friday, when Billy Adams was shot and killed in Layou.

He further said that the previous week was a bad one, with the killings of Lorenzo Gould of Vermont and Marcus Sandy of Arnos Vale, who were shot to death in separate incidents.

Adams was killed two days after the murder of Malachi Kingman of Calder, who was shot in his house.

Friday said:  “This state of affairs is not just worrying; it is alarming.  The seemingly endless reports of killings and serious wounding are creating feelings of fear and insecurity among ordinary people in the country. The government must take responsibility for this alarming situation.”

He pointed out that 2016 and 2017 were record-breaking years for homicides in SVG, with the country recording 40 homicides in 2017.

The opposition leader noted that at the Consultation on Crime and Violence held by the Christian Council earlier this year, he said, “We can only hope that in 2018, this record-breaking trend does not continue.”

“That is still my hope today. But the evidence, of far too numerous recent killings is not encouraging.

“Moreover, there is the tendency within the present government to treat certain reports of gunshot killings as a special type of criminal activity spawned by gangs and individuals caught up in a retaliatory frenzy, with the view that we, the rest of society, need not concern ourselves too much with them.”

“That approach says, that if we, the law-abiding people, walk on our side of the road, we will be safe from the violence and need not fear for our lives.”

Friday said that this is “foolish thinking”.

“Just ask Carlyle Douglas of NICE Radio fame, who was in his house, standing on his porch, on the night of Wednesday July 18th, when he was shot in his groin area and had to be hospitalised.  Fortunately, he survived the incident. But, since he was shot and wounded he could just as easily have been killed.”

Friday said that his point is “crime is crime, violence is violence, no matter the source and the identity (or suspected identity) of the people involved.

“We cannot leave it up to the ‘criminal’, so-called, to clean up the streets by wiping out one another. That is chaos and emerging anarchy in our country.  Those approaches are familiar in larger more violent societies such as areas of Mexico and Venezuela, where the government has lost control of the streets and criminal gangs fill the breach.”

The opposition leader called on the government, particularly the Minister of National Security, “to be proactive in fighting crime and violence in the country and to live up to its campaign promise to be ‘tough on crime and the causes of crime’”.

11 replies on “Opposition Leader ‘alarmed’ by ‘spate of violent killings’ in SVG”

  1. It’s our country and it’s time the blame game comes to an end # come together # take control # clean the streets #keep our people safe

    1. So you have identified a BIG problem in SVG. But, “YOU” forgot to list some of “YOUR” solutions to the problem. Can YOU put forth some of “YOUR” suggestions for solutions that can benefit “OUR” Beautiful Island.
      Since all the children go to school in SVG, we can start there. Education: Conflict Resolution.

      1. I assume that her suggestion is for all of us to come together and make plans instead of sitting around looking for someone to blame. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Dr. Friday is just trying to score a few cheap political points over an issue the government has little control.

    If you check out the family and community background of most of the killers and killed, you will discover the most important source of this problem.

    This is not to deny that he role of other factors as well, such as incompetent policing, but which political party happens to be in power is far, far down the list.

    1. The question is what the government is doing about it? The force is controlled by the government every move they make has to be sanctioned by powers higher than the commissioner. Crime kills tourism and svg is at the bottom of the list in the Caribbean where tourism is concern. So do the math ben.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        What is the Prime Minister supposed to do? Should he personally hold training workshops for the police? Should he travel from station to push the sleeping officers inside out to the streets to do some patrols? Should he double salaries and increase benefits to ensure more competent people join the force? Should he recruit police from other countries? Should he personally fire deadbeat officers? Should he hand out brain tablets to make them smarter?

        Please tell me would the politicians, especially the man at the top, can do to reform the police force?

  3. Erlien Richards says:

    Leader of the opposition Dr Friday should be ashamed to blame the government and more so the prime minister Dr Friday have academic qualifications but to put it in practice he is as dumb u don’t want to know he must remember it was the former leader who had information of crime about to commit and did nothing he must remember it was the same n d p who talk about knowing man want money to buy bullet Friday look in the mirror stay in bequIA and talk your nonsense

  4. Sheldon Glasgow says:

    My name is Sheldon Glasgow I was born in biabou .I live in California for the past twenty years and been trying to keep up with what’s going on in my beautiful island via the Internet but reading head lines like these scares the heck out of me .I want to bring my family home to see the most beautiful place on Earth ,but to take them out of their country to this kind of violence makes me think twice.i think each party should stop pointing fingers for their own political gain and fix the problem

  5. Aword Stephen says:

    Really and truly I wants to know what would the opposition do,and what measure he will and put in place,,, crimes are the world over,from the beginning of time,there the first murder,a brother take a brother’s life, at thst time there was four persons living upon the earth,what were the reason, because one work was righteous and the other unrighteous, in today’s world the slightest thing said to someone too hard is gun shots,the Love of man has turned sour,the Bible says that the Love of money is the root of all evil,, not the money, but the love of it,,gid created this world and all in it very good,, but mankind smash it up,but one day all will be good again,, no prime minister,no government,no president,no of them came stop the wave of crime that is taking place,

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