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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaking at the press conference in Kingstown on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaking at the press conference in Kingstown on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says his government is pursuing “a clear strategy” in handling crime, even as the country has registered a record 52 homicides, 10 more than the record set last year, and a number of non-fatal shootings. 

“There’s a clear strategy which the state is pursuing and there are tactics within that strategy,” Gonsalves, who is also minister of national security, told the media on Thursday, during a week in which six people were shot and two of them died.

“… we have gone to Parliament from 2003 with a 14-point strategy and that has been amended and with an action plan and it changes as we go over,” the prime minister said as he briefed the media following a trip to Dubai, where he attended the global climate talks.

“But there are certain things which remain central,” he said, adding that it requires “an all-of-nation approach.

“And when I say all-of-nation, I don’t mean political parties must get together and there be grandstanding by one side or the other and people seek an advantage. I’m talking about real flesh and blood people organised in families, in schools, in churches, in the community.”

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Gonsalves said families have an important role to play, especially in how young men are raised.

He also described as important the roles of schools, churches and communities.

“There are some communities in which a culture of some criminal activity has developed more than in other areas. But all communities have very good people, the majority of the people are good people and they have to work to help in each community.”

Gonsalves said the state has an important role to play through the police, the Coast Guard, the prisons, the law courts, the prosecution service, and regional institutions, like the Regional Security System, Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security and cooperation with international bodies in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France and with Interpol.

The prime minister said he received a letter in late September from the president of Interpol Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi.

“Of course, I want to see if we can have an officer be seconded to Interpol. I’m exploring this. The Commissioner [of Police] and I have to talk more about this,” Gonsalves said. 

“In short, totally, to deal with all of the various elements. I mean, in the budget, we spend a lot of money on the police. The size of the police now is more than twice it was in 2000, even though the population has remained basically flat.

“We train people more and better; there is better equipment. There are areas where some facilities need further improvement. We’re working on those. And I can’t talk about everything that is being done but a lot of resources are being put to the police, the Coast Guard,” the prime minister said.

He said that the police have asked that, among other things, Budget 2024 provide for 18 new vehicles.

“I gave instructions for them to put 15 in the budget — $1.5 million. …  Of course, when they get the vehicles, you have to use them properly. And there are lots of tools which we’re using,” the prime minister said, adding that scanners have been ordered for the ports to help with the inspection of containers and boxes.

 “… we have to make sure that we have greater cooperation with the United States of America out of where most of the guns come,” Gonsalves said.

10 replies on “Gov’t pursuing ‘clear strategy’ on crime, PM says”

  1. Sophia A. Hunte says:

    How do you put confidence in a police force who are themselves corrupt? As my father used to say “, no better the beef no better the barrel”. The Bible speak about the wine in a compromise wine jar,when poured out will be still compromised. Low salaries is a factor in ensuring quality over quality among new police recruits. The Person in charge of fighting crime himself has an image problem and doesn’t not command too much respect. Heaven helps us all.

  2. Empty rhetoric because our family structure, community solidarity, law enforcement, and judiciary are all irretrievably broken.

    Welcome to Little Haiti.

  3. What’s the clear strategy Mr PM?
    Am living in SVG and I have not seen any strategy, you’re very good at talking, that’s is what is happening, the usual talks, but nothing else, we’re fed up of the old talks, time for action,

  4. The master of political logorrhea is at it again. “It” being another vapid discourse. In that loquacious discourse, what’s in it that was even close to substantive that you can hold on to? In forty-four Trumpian style vacuous words, he states: “There are some communities in which a culture of some criminal activity has developed more than in other areas. But all communities have very good people, the majority of the people are good people and they have to work to help in each community.” That is his government “clear strategy,” which is, all you good people, round up the good people and fix the crime problem good.

    Ralph Gonsalves does make my ears tired.

  5. Comrade what is the definition of a clear strategy on crimes? Since you look office in 2002 , crimes have increased exponentially. What is more dismal is the crime solving ratio. Your police officers are themselves involved in crimes or alleged crimes, see recent iwitness news articles on the issue. Even Bailey is not fit for the job.

  6. This Is a tied Ralph Gonsalves. He ran out of ideas. He is busy trying to solve his neighbors problems and leave his to fester. He likes to poke his nose in other people affairs to look great. St Vincent has now one of the highest crime rate in the world per capita and becoming worse. This is the ULP legacy, they presided over a state in which no one is safe. Too much gun slingers in the nation.

  7. Too much conflict of interest in that police force, thats the reason for the decay, political victimization has led to officers not really motivated, why would i as a police want to fight crime that has been victimized for some reason or the other, crimials have been taking advantage of the decay,no real example has been shown, you have police officers 400 pounds in body weight you think a criminal would respect an operation thats running like that.

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