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ACP Joseph’s Crime Plan


Whenever we experience situations in our society, as we are now, when the number of killings or incidences of rape, domestic violence or other violent crimes reach unbearable levels, we tend to want to act.

We hold marches, vigils and rallies to give us the feeling that we are doing something and in an effort to ward off feelings of helplessness. These public events also send a message to the criminals among us that they are in the minority and will ultimately be defeated.

In all our responses, we must, however, guard against hysteria, as this will get us nowhere.

For long-term effectiveness in significantly reducing crime, we must consider and deal with economic, social, psychological and cultural factors, among others, but for immediate relief, we must come up with a plan to combat the crime situation that confronts us.

For obvious reasons, the police usually do not announce the details of how they plan to tackle outbreaks of crime and violence in our country. Sometimes, this reluctance to share information not only keeps criminals in the dark, but may give the law-abiding public the impression that nothing is being done to deal with the situation.

Last week’s statement by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Frankie Joseph is therefore very reassuring. The ACP, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, said he had devised a plan to deal with gun related violence in our country, which importantly, is comprehensive and sustainable.

Rarely do law enforcement officials make promises about the effectiveness of their planned strategies, but Joseph did, which speaks to the confidence he has in his plan.

He assured the public that the strategy he has devised, which was presented to Cabinet, will take care of the firearm violence we have been experiencing. Joseph also promised that there would not be another upsurge in gun violence after the plan is implemented. These are very bold assurances, but in the absence of any other plan, we welcome them.

As a public, we also must do our part. The police have called on us to support them and to provide them with the intelligence they need to solve crimes.

We believe the vast majority of Vincentians would like to do this, but there is a very real fear among the public that when they give information to the police their identities will not be protected. The police must work hard to win back the confidence of the public if this fear is to be overcome.

In the meantime, we await the implementation of ACP Joseph’s crime plan and wish the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines every success with its implementation.