As murders continue to rise in the Caribbean islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), the island’s prime minister, Ralph Gonsalves, told local radio WEFM on December 18 that the government is cracking down on crime and crime. He said he could show his stance. We find the cause of crime, but we have no “silver bullet” to stop criminal behavior.
On Boxing Day (December 26), the southern Caribbean island, known by its indigenous peoples as Hailowna or “Blessed Land,” recorded the 42nd murder of Michael Charles outside the capital, Kingstown. Murdered. .
The 42 murders broke the island’s 2016 record of 40.
Among islanders calling on the government to implement various measures to curb the wave of crime, Gonzalves said the fight is everyone’s job.
“Fighting crime is everyone’s job. I call on families, parents, schools, and churches to do their part to help reduce the crime landscape.” A “whole-of-society approach” is needed, says Gonsalves.
Due to the unconstitutionality of mandatory death sentences and the lack of electronic surveillance of criminals, the prime minister, who is also the minister of national security, said people could not be easily dissuaded from committing murder.
“Without the death penalty, murder cases usually end with a conviction, no matter how horrible the murder was.” Even though I still feel like I can come out and live my life. “Perhaps in our situation there would be fewer shootings if the death penalty was available,” he said.
“In the case of electronic surveillance, it would have had to be mandated by a High Court judge.” This method of assisting intelligence gathering is not available in SVG. “When we introduced it in Congress, it didn’t get support from the opposition, so the tool is not yet available to combat crime in island-rich states,” Gonzalves said.
The island government said the allocation to the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police will increase from $38,000 to $41,000 in the upcoming 2023 national budget.
Ernesto is a senior journalist at the St. Vincent Times. Having worked in the media for 16 years, he focuses on local and international issues. He contributed to the New York Times and he reported to the BBC during the 2021 La Soufrière eruption.