Tiny band of criminals will never win – PM Gonsalves
“The tiny band of criminals will never win,” the Prime Minister declared, as he addressed the topic of crime in his message to the nation on Independence.
Crime was one of the focuses in Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves’ speech on the 39th Anniversary of Independence last Saturday, delivered at Victoria Park.
In addition to making clear his thoughts on the situation where some young persons are choosing a life of crime, he also announced the birth of a ‘Sports against Crime’ initiative.
With the same concept as ‘Pan against Crime’, but instead of music, with sports; the Government will seek to implement this new initiative in 2019, “in conjunction with those sporting associations which are interested in so doing.” Gonsalves noted that two sports associations have already approached him.
Just before giving his announcements, the Prime Minister had commented that it was ‘painful’ that, despite general progress, “a small number of persons, mainly young males who are wholly unrepresentative of our nation’s young male population, have chosen a life of crime, especially violent crime.”
Putting their trust in “gun violence,” he cited these young men as “armed entrepreneurs,” who are, “living illegally off the fat of the land, making absolutely no contribution to the country’s development, sucking from it, and preying on innocent law-abiding people of all walks of life.”
Neither society nor the economy commits crime, he stated, “it is the individual; that is where the responsibility lies.”
He continued, “There is absolutely no reason for any person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be violent toward another or to rob anyone.”
He rejected the concept of ‘disadvantage’ being the cause of crime, saying that, “There are enough opportunities and support systems.”
“It is important to note that most of the violent criminals are not truly disadvantaged; they are greedy and covetous; they refuse to work; and they take some selfish pleasure in using violence against other persons,” Gonsalves posited. However, he noted that rehabilitation must be at the forefront, even while the justice system takes its appropriate course.
Apart from the state, which the Prime Minister indicates maintains a tough stance on crime, Gonsalves requested, “this venture demands the practical support of all: the family, the school, the community group, the church, and the media.”
“What we do not need are cynical political operatives and some less-than-thoughtful radio hosts who tilt at the proverbial windmills and make absurd excuses for the violent criminal,” as well as speak ‘unfairly’ about the efforts of the police force in fighting crime, Gonsalves stated.
However, he commented that, “the tiny band of criminals will never win. On this fundamental matter the government and people are ever more determined to constrain and defeat crime and criminals.”
While he urged young persons, in particular, to make full use of opportunities available, “seek and you will find,” he reiterated, “remember always that you must make the maximum individual effort in order to better your life and living.”