The main opposition New Democratic Party, on Tuesday, said that last Saturday’s armed robbery of the wife of a minister of government outside her home shows the pervasiveness of crime in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The recent incident on Saturday 15th September, when Dr. Reisha Twana Browne-Caesar, wife of Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Saboto Caesar and consultant nephrologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, was robbed at knife-point as she was exiting her car at her home at Cedars in the South Windward area brought the crisis forcefully to the fore. No one is safe,” the NDP said in a press statement.
The party noted that the minister’s wife was robbed at the end of a week when the body of Yolande McMaster, a 47-year-old domestic of Lower Questelles, was found under a sheet of galvanise in her South Leeward Community.
Police said, on Monday, that an autopsy concluded that she died of “unnatural causes”, taking the homicide count for 2018 to 24.
Media reports say that McMaster was raped and died of blunt force trauma.
“Our beautiful homeland, St Vincent and the Grenadines, continues to beckon for help in the face of the seemingly uncontrolled crime wave that is ever-spawning,” the NDP said.
The party said the “high murder rates that have been visited upon St Vincent and the Grenadines under the reign of the Gonsalves-led, ULP administration, has unfortunately not been matched by a professional, scientific analysis of the problem.
“Instead, what we have is a significant attempt at downplaying the fearful impact that the crime wave continues to wreak on the nation. Clearly, Dr. Gonsalves and the ULP have lost touch with the reality of Vincentian people’s lives.”
The NDP said Vincentians are “being treated to the wanton disrespectful dismissal of their fears as basic ‘scare mongering’ and ‘spreading fear and alarm’ and a dismissal of 24 recorded murders in SVG as ‘episodic’.”
The party reminded the nation of its call for the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Ralph Gonsalves, to “formally address the nation on government’s plans to deal with the worsening crime situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“He does not yet understand that crime and violence are not inevitable consequences of development. In any event, he has not produced the promised war on crime and the causes of crime just as he has failed to introduce integrity legislation, to say nothing of the creation of a consultative democracy.”
The NDP said:
“St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains a blessed country. Evidence of this is our resilience to the vagaries of misdirected governance, high unemployment and underemployment and political demagoguery under an authoritarian leadership that dares to parade itself as democratic.
“The NDP does not expect the Minister of National Security to respond to our call anytime soon and so we continue to urge the Vincentian public to remain as vigilant as they have been resilient. It is only through strong, united, caring communities can we address this crisis of crime and violence in SVG.
“The NDP reiterate their willingness to work with the government and other organizations to address the problem. It is only collaborative, united and caring communities that will enable us to succeed in combating the national crisis of crime and violence in SVG.
“We again implore anyone with information that might assist the police in their investigations to provide it to the police and we call on the police to redouble their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, and to resolve other unsolved violent crimes in our country.”
On Monday, the NDP issued a statement condemning the crime against the minister’s wife.
Speaking on radio on Tuesday, NDP president and Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday, noted the impact of the crime of against the minister’s wife.
“It does bring it home closer. We say, oh yes it is just another person and so on. That is true. But it is the wife of a minister and in our society that would even get more profiled.”