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Police have intelligence, but not enough evidence – Gonsalves

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The Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) has in recent times embraced intelligence gathering methods which have resulted in information on violent crimes, but still not enough evidence to get convictions.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the Minister of National Security said that both the Ministry of National Security and the RSVGPF do a lot of things to ensure a safe society, most of the times without the knowledge of the general public.

“I meet with the Commissioner (Michael Charles) on a wide range of security issues,” said the Prime Minister (PM) on Monday from Cabinet Room, adding that this country has a number of international partners that they collaborate with.

But despite the talk of intelligence and information gathering, this country has recorded a number of murders, gun related assaults and robberies that have gone unsolved.

In relation to this, the PM said that most times, the police officers know who committed the acts, but are not able to prove it.

He said that they usually have reasonable suspicion that someone is responsible, but not the admissible evidence. The PM said that while an investigator may feel that someone is responsible, having a notion is different than having actual evidence that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Collin Williams can act upon to lead to court proceedings and eventual convictions.

The PM said that in fighting crime in the modern period, intelligence is important and they have been spending a lot of time on intelligence.

“You can put a lot of people on the ground; that is important, but they need to be directed and framed by the intelligence which is available,” stressed Gonsalves, who reiterated and gave his assurance that the police have a fairly good handle on what is happening.

He said also that a lot of the murders are drug related. For instance, last year, robbery of a cocaine shipment caused widespread chaos that ended in numerous persons being shot and killed.

The Prime Minister said that the police are usually not able to stop persons from killing other persons involved in the drug trade, as when they gather intelligence and approach persons whose life might be in danger, these persons at times refuse to cooperate with law enforcement and many times the men end up being injured or killed.

“I will tell you this, most of times they have some idea of who is the perpetrator or who are the perpetrators, but the question of evidence to prosecute and convict is difficult,” stressed the PM.(LC)

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