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No murders recorded so far in SVG for 2017

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This country ended 2016 with a record 40 murders, the highest ever committed here in one year, but 2017 seems to have started on a much better note.

The first month of 2017 ended last Tuesday and unlike some other countries in the region, January ended with no one being killed in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

Nearby St Lucia, with a population of 187,427, has so far for the year had 13 murders,with the latest being a double killing on February 1. In Barbados, the first and only murder for the year took place on January 19, when Romario Lewis, 20, of Frere View, Christ Church, was shot sometime after 2 a.m. at Highland, Foursquare, Saint Philip. Grenada has also recorded one murder for the year. Trinidad continues to live up to its name when it comes to murders, as 49 persons had been murdered in that country up to press time.

In Jamaica, the country averaged 100 murders a month last year and three days into 2017, 11 murders had already been committed. Up to press time 90 persons had been murdered in Jamaica.

In comparison, back in 2016, the first murder in SVG took place on January 10, when New Montrose/Walker Piece resident 37-year-old St Elmo Patrick Jackson was shot and killed in Ottley Hall around 10 p.m. Jackson was shot twice in his back and died on the spot.

But while no one has been murdered here in SVG for the year, the deaths of three teens last weekend has reminded us of a similar incident that took place two years ago – the Rock Gutter tragedy of January 12, 2015 that saw seven students lose their lives when the minivan they were travelling in went over a cliff into raging sea water.

Last Sunday, at Graeme Hall, Christ Church, Barbados at around 3 a.m., 19-year-old Aziza Dennie of Redemption Sharpes, Danee Horne, 17, of Questelles and Carianne Padmore, 18, of Simon (New Prospect), Biabou, were killed in an accident. The driver of the car P-6676, Andre Jabarry Gittens, a 23-year-old employee of The Crane Resort and a resident of St Phillip, Barbados, also died. There have been five road fatalities so far for the year in Barbados.

Persons are attributing the recent drop in shootings here to a number of measures that have been put in place by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF).

On Wednesday, January 18, the police confiscated a submachine gun (SMG), a Glock 40 pistol and a .38 revolver during an early morning raid. Along with the guns, police officers also found an AK47 magazine with one round of AK47 ammunition, 14 rounds of Glock 40 ammunition and 45 rounds of 9 mm ammunition.

Commissioner of Police Renold Hadaway told reporters last month during a press briefing that of the 40 murders last year, 28 persons were killed by firearms. He said that the police are working hard to curb the killings.

“It is not just that we are sitting and hoping, we are taking action. We have put in place mechanisms, strategies to address the whole issue that caused the nation in 2016 to be in a state of panic so to speak,” Hadaway stated.(LC)

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