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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, in a Sept. 1, 2022 Lance Neverson photo.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, in a Sept. 1, 2022 Lance Neverson photo.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says he has met with Commissioner of Police Colin John and his “10 top officers dealing with crime” amidst the recent spate of killings, which has left two people dead on each of the last two weekends, taking the homicide count to 32.

“… we did a review as to what is being done now and what we can do different, better and more,” Gonsalves said on his weekly show on the state-owned NBC Radio.

“And there are a series of things which have been decided upon. I wouldn’t talk about them except to say that if persons see certain things happening, they will know that it relates to what I mentioned here now,” said Gonsalves, who is also minister of national security. 

‘No future in guns’

“I just want to reaffirm what I have been saying recently. There is no future in guns. I want the young males who have a fascination with guns to realise this themselves. There is no future in guns. There is a future in education and training. There is a future in hard and smart work. There is a future in going and making an application for PRYME (Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises) to start your business or to expand your legitimate business,” Gonsalves said. 

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“If you belong to a group in a particular area of the country, a particular geographic area or some friendship or associations or things based on girlfriends or whatever else these association may be based upon, one thing is certain: If you’re involved in gun crimes today against somebody, you might be the aggressor today but as sure as the sun rises, you’re going to be a victim tomorrow or a victim the day after. So there’s no future in it. All you all will be doing is killing one another.”

The prime minister said that what is “particularly unfortunate” is that innocent by-standers might get caught in the crossfire.

“But it is a terrible thing to see young males  wasting their lives away with this .. fascination with guns.”

He urged the nation’s youth to live in the real world and not the one they see on social media or in films.

“That’s not real. That’s fake and you don’t need a gun to show that it is masculine or it’s strength. There is nothing cultural about you having a gun. On the contrary, it’s antithetical, it is completely opposed to our heritage. We are not a violent people. We are a peaceful people. This fascination, this American fascination with guns. We must stop it. And everybody is involved in this, to stop it.”

He urged parents to supervise the young males in their households. 

“If you just leave your male child and let it go and do what they want to do, you don’t parent them properly, you’re going to end up with a big problem, likely.

“You have to watch the company your children keep. We have to have the communities peaceful. They have to have local leadership in the communities helping,” he said, adding that some preachers focus on the afterlife but not immediate issues. 

“… a number of pastors really — not the good ones — they want to frighten people to heaven, to tell you how you going get burn up in hellfire but not talking to you in some immediate way to stay away from guns and to see if we can get the young males to be doing useful things. Let them get involved in education and training and sports. Pan Against Crime, drama, cultural activities, singing,” the prime minister said. 

He said there is a role for school, saying that teachers cannot give up on any student. 

“We have to find ways. The government itself, the police, the judges, the magistrates, all of us. We have to play our part. The reason why we call ourselves a society is because humans have social solidarity with one another,” Gonsalves said. 

“You can’t just be so individualistic he does lock yourself up in your house and think that what happens outside your house is that not of any business of yours. And we have to do things to help to improve our communities, our societies and our families, in our churches, in our schools, in the governance of the country, in the policing, in the legal system; everything!”

He said that even lawyers have a role to play in addressing the crime situation in the court.  

… because while everybody who is accused of a crime has the right to a lawyer of his or her choice, the lawyers themselves must use the opportunities to talk to these persons and say, ‘Listen this thing ain’t going to take you anywhere. So, everybody,” said Gonsalves, a lawyer who distinguished himself at the criminal Bar. 

11 replies on “PM, police chief, 10 top detectives meet to discuss recent killings”

  1. Gonsalves is who causing all this strife. There is no work for the youth. 40+% youth unemployment is not a joke. Salaries just enough to eat and pay rent. Police dem beating up the people as they see fit. This is just another papy show. Gonsalves propaganda machine running overtime. He doesn’t have a clue how to bring development to SVG. All he want is to keep people stupid so he can fool them every time. Colin John is no better. They want all the gold for themselves and all the brass for the population.

  2. I agree that all Vincentians would have to report something if they see something. I agree with the prime minister that it will take a village to eradicate this gun violence and gang violence in St Vincent but as prime minister and minister of security he has to lead by actions so others could follow. You are a charismatic man so get these faith leaders together as well as the community and community groups to report what they see with their information being protected.
    Infiltrate these gang and gun bangers so that they are eradicated. Relationships are important so lean on those countries and ideas that’s working with our partners.
    It is becoming scary coming home to st Vincent for a good time of relaxation with families and friends and in addition having to keep looking behind your back. I keep seeing and hearing the same no response or tired excuses where nothing is being done to address the problem.
    It is a problem “ Mr prime minister”
    Mr prime minister get something done now before tourism in SVG is annihilated because of these young thugs. There will be no saving grace or going back. You were elected to do a job so please get it done for the good of Vincentians and country. Vincentians and others deserve no less.

  3. Dem man mus eat some nice food with a few drinks . Can’t beat the pm when it comes to having a good lime.Hope you had fish and vegetables Mr PM..helps your memory and don’t forget your doctor says to be easy on the alcohol. Nice get together.

  4. Excellent to see the Hon Prime Minister taking the initiative to engage the senior members of the Force and provide some leadership and direction. However, there needs to be more openness to the Vincentian people and increase community engagement among youths.

    This is where most people get it wrong. Policing was never designed to be a secretive. Therefore, we must avoid saying the Police are doing some things and you would see some things happening.

    The way you prevent crime is by high visibility policing, community engagement, targeting and arresting offenders, increase police presence, target hardening such as implementation of CCTV system, and surveillance. These strategies are to be known to the public so they can serve as a deterrent.

    Always remember the Peelean Principles as posited by Sir Robert Vincent Peele who invented modern policing. One of his most famous, is the Police are the Public and the Public are the Police. This means the Police should fully engage the public so they too can Police their own communities by being the eyes and ears of the Police, and by watching over their communities. However, not by taking the law into their own hands.

    The murders that are taking place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and across the Region require early intervention in schools such as the DARE and GREAT programs. For us to change this vicious cycle of crime we must focus heavily on engaging our youths. The Police Pan Against Crime and the Coastguard Summer Program are all excellent community engagement programs. They should be fully supported and funded by the Government.

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines have the right recipe for crime reduction but seems to have the wrongs cooks. Those who are charged with executing the strategy of recruiting and developing young people needs to supported more, improve and take their role more seriously.

    Youth Organizations such as SVG Cadet Force, Girl Guides, Brownies, Scouts, Boys Brigade, Pathfinder must be properly subside by the Government to support training and development of their mentors, fund the operations of the programs and develop sound curriculum outside of the status quo to help turn the tide on crime. All volunteers in these program must be awarded a monthly stipend to help offset their personal expenses and as an incentive for their dedication.

    Formalized programs on parenting must be made mandatory to all pregnant women. Parenting is a skill that must be nurtured and developed. Some people get it right but the majority get it wrong. It requires the ability to apply various principles and installation of a set of strong values and attributes in our children from an early age. Primary among these are, honesty, integrity, respect, accountability, forgiveness, reconciliation, politeness, love for each other, dedication, determination to succeed and hard work.

    Finally, the public sector must become more involved by hiring youths during summer holidays and Christmas to avoid them turning to crime. Idleness is one of the biggest drivers of crimes in SVG. Drug use and Trafficking is also a fundamental driver of crime in SVG. The others are poor parenting, poor mentorship, unemployment, and violently insightful music and movies. The latter should be banned on all public airways and in all vehicles.

    This is the way forward if we want to turn the tide on crime. Twenty-seven years of policing has taught me that heavy handed policing is not a tool for long term crime reduction. In fact, this makes matters worse by driving a wedge between the Police and the community. As a trained and experience mentor, I know engaging our youths from a very early age and good parenting works. This is the commencement of the process of crime reduction.

  5. It would be nice for your paper to publish all the comments that are submitted based on the conversation and not some.
    PS: You have to do a better job.

  6. News Admin, what do you mean drive us into the proud? Do you mean drive into the ground? Just as the ULP dutty politics and Ralph Gonsalves, the sexual predator and his son is doing to the country where we cannot even voice our displeasure about things they are doing to this Nation? No wonder the best thing people want is to leave for another man’s country where he or she can live with the indignity without shame.

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