The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) says the streets of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are “running red with crime” as the nation recorded its second homicide in less than a week, bringing the tally this year to 12.
“Vincentians are alarmed at the spate of violent crimes in recent times, most of which are gun related,” the NDP said in a press statement on Sunday.
Friday night, two assailants, wearing hoodies, shot and killed businessman Michael “Super Cat” Richards, 48, of Edinboro, as he was standing in the doorway of the liquor and provision shop he operated at Queen’s Drive.
It was the second homicide this week, following that of Jomo “Top Dog” Brudy, also of Edinboro, who died in hospital on Tuesday, after being shot by a masked assailant in Pole Yard Monday night.
John Dallaway, of Georgetown/Pole Yard, who was shot in his left upper thigh during the same incident.
The NDP noted the two slayings this week, adding, “Crime is out of hand in SVG.”
The party said the record 42 homicides in 2022 “left the government unfazed, unapologetic and lost as to an adequate response. Clearly, we are careening in the wrong direction.
“In all of this, Vincentians await some solace of (sic) even the perception that the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and the Commissioner of Police, Colin John, are even aware of the extent to (sic) the problem confronting the Vincentian people. When will we hear of a plan to fight crime from those in authority?”
The NDP said that the “refusal” of the ULP administration “to acknowledge the depth of this crisis shows that they are overcome by it and lack solutions. Once again, the Minister of National Security has failed in his promise to be, ‘tough on crime and the causes of crime’.”
The NDP extended “sincere condolences” to the families directly affected by violent crimes in SVG.
“We understand your pain,” the party said, adding that crime in SVG “is a crisis that affects everyone and will require a national collaboration to address it.
“The NDP is again renewing our call for the ULP administration to work with us and other social partners in the development and implementation of strategies to address the crime epidemic.”
The party said its president and Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday, has made it clear that he is ready to work in the nation’s best interest.
“Anyone with information that might assist the police investigations should contact the police immediately,” the NDP said.