Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, speaking to the media on Monday, addressed the issue of the recent spate of violent crimes in St Vincent & the Grenadines. Gonsalves said, upon analyses, this is one which is very painful, especially the recent four.
The Prime Minister said there are manipulations for drugs, but for others “it’s like territory with some not really into gangs but different groups. It’s just quite senseless.”
“What’s going to happen? They kill each other until no one is standing? And what happens to your children of those involved in criminality?” Gonsalves asks.
“These young men have children. What (are) you gonna do? Bring about the loss of your life for some vanity or gain of reputation or status? Not even money.” He lamented.
Gonsalves said those individuals who lose their lives are “on the very low end of the chain”.
PM Gonsalves said the Police made a presentation to Cabinet on Wednesday, which he has spoken to Sir Louis Straker, Deputy Prime Minister, about, and that there were additional things that the police are doing.
“I just want to make this point about crime. Look, most of the crimes, and we are talking about crimes of violence which end up in murder, they involve young males”.
“There are a lot of institutions during a young male’s life which is critical, the first being the family. Mothers and fathers can’t just leave their children in an ill-disciplined manner, and when they 14 or 15 say, ‘Is Ralph problem!’ not theirs. Well, its all of our problem”. PM Gonsalves said.
“Then there are the schools, the churches, community groups, then, of course, the issue of policing, the law courts, all these are issues together and very much so issues relating to the economy”.
“But some of the people who are killing one another do so for a number of reasons including greed, including claiming territory and other ridiculous vanities. So the analysis can’t be a one-dimensional analysis and we all have an important role to play”.
Gonsalves said that from his standpoint as Prime Minister, he has to make sure that the Police is in good shape and that the facilities are there, that the legal framework is in order and the Prison system is reasonable in every respect.
“Also”, the PM said, “we must have young people involved in Sports, the Cadets, Pan-Against-Crime, along with the family playing their roles”.
Gonsalves said, “We don’t produce the firearms. We don’t produce the bullets and unfortunately, we can’t police all islands that make up SVG. But, we are seeking to improve the security and intelligence”.
“None of us can be satisfied generally with young people getting killed or injured. It’s an ongoing battle for a reduction. In all of the violence, we however still remain by and large a peaceful country”.