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Kingstown Medical College worried about crime against students

Kingstown Medical College worried about crime against students


Increased levels of crime against students of the Kingstown Medical College (pictured above) have reportedly led to about 50 of them accepting an offer by the college to cut short their four-month stint in St Vincent, and return to the Grenada campus of St. George’s University.

The fear now is, that the institution, which has been operating in St Vincent and the Grenadines for 28 years, may be pulling out – destroying an estimated $22 million industry in the process.{{more}}

“The students no longer feel safe in their own homes … many are finding it difficult to continue with these crimes on their minds,” said Chancellor Charles R. Modica (Photo below), in a letter that was hand delivered last Tuesday to local landlords who provide off-campus housing to students.

Searchlight has learned that since the beginning of this year, there have been close to 30 acts of crime committed against the medical students, with burglaries topping the list. The list of violations also includes a recent sexual assault against a female student.

According to a reliable source close to the college, students scheduled to do their stint in St Vincent are being asked if they would rather stay in Grenada for the full two years of their Caribbean sojourn.

“When you hear of rising crime against students, and those students cut short their stay, what do you think the (incoming) students would say, if given the opportunity?” said our source who is bracing for the worst.

Our source explained that the community model for the students in St Vincent, while appreciated, poses serious challenges in terms of security.

“In Grenada they live on campus, but here they are scattered in various places so their safety is compromised,” our source said.

Of the student population of approximately 350, only about 50 live at in dormitories at the Ratho Mill campus, the remainder rent apartments in the nearby communities.

With the threat of a pull out from St Vincent, homeowners are bracing for the economic fall out. Many homeowners from Stubbs, south to Villa, have invested tremendous amounts of money to prepare apartments for the students.

One such investor, who has a mortgage of over $1 million told SEARCHLIGHT that he is scared and can’t imagine what he would do if the school closes its doors.

“I have debts of over a million dollars which depend solely on the school”, the worried homeowner said.

In addition to the homeowners, other affected persons would be those in the car rental and supermarket businesses.

The school met with homeowners three weeks ago and outlined to them the economic ramifications of any move to pull out by the school. The homeowners were told that the instances of crime against the students had reached an intolerable level.

“We always had crime against students but it is getting worse.” However, our college source said that it is possible, for financial and other reasons, that the school had already been considering making its exit from St Vincent.

“The rising instances of crime may have given the school the excuse it was looking for to make its move,” our source said.

The school has taken steps over the last couple weeks to tighten security for the students. A private security consultant has been hired to do nightly patrols in the areas where the students live. This measure had been taken in the past, but the latest initiative is expected to be more consistent.