Acting Commissioner of Police Enville Williams has made a special appeal to the media to join efforts to fight crime and violence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
“I think if the media, especially the electronic media partner with us, we can reach a wider section of Vincentians,” he told a press briefing in Kingstown on Monday, his first since taking up the post in early October.
“You have a porch, really; you have a reach to help us to meet the young men on the block, young women wherever they are and to speak directly to them to move away from the life of crime and violence.”
Williams said that of the 47 homicides in SVG this year, 43 were classified as homicides and guns were used in 36 of those murders.
“Friends, we have a problem where the use of illegal guns is becoming all too rampant among us and we must not, as citizens, as Vincentians, allow this practice to be normalised as the way forward,” Williams said.
“Yes, we want to reach out to all the groups in society to say partner with us but I want to make that special appeal to the media, the morning talk shows, the newspapers, to partner with us so that we can reach the young men and the young women to turn their lives away, turn their minds away from that life of crime and violence.
“Like I said before, we have a problem. The gun culture is too glorified in our society. Murder and the likes are too widely played in our vans and on our media through the songs we listen to and play. And the young men and young women, the first thing they do when they get on the bus on morning, they listen to these songs and the last thing at night is still this song.
“And I am not blaming the media. I am simply saying, let us work together to use your reach to change thing for all of us. Because, at the end of the day, St. Vincent is our home and together we can work hand-in-hand to change hearts and minds away from crime and violence because you have that reach that can meet people where they are.
The new police chief thanked all law-abiding Vincentians and the media “for this partnership we are going to enter in from here on in because, together, we, as a people, can do more to reduce these senseless acts of violence, these senseless killing, the use of firearm and the other criminal activities that seek to want to tear our society apart.”