Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson has disclosed plans to call on the nation’s legislators in Parliament to increase the penalty for persons charged with offensive weapons.
The island’s top COP told local reporters last week that more than 40 persons were arrested and charged for being in possession of offensive weapons during the just-ended Carnival season.
According to Commissioner Thompson, the lawmen were successful in their Carnival Operations which targeted drugs, offensive weapons and ill-discipline among drivers on the nation’s roads.
He said that several knives, hatchets, swords, cutlasses, as well as a gun and other objects including a galvanise hand-made cutlass were confiscated by the police in random searches.
Most of the weapons confiscated were at checkpoints set up by RGPF while a few were taken away at one of the major Carnival shows.
“It still bothers my mind… I don’t know why an individual going to Carnival needs to have a sword, not a ceremonial sword, in fact even if it was a ceremonial sword it’s place was not in Carnival”, he said.
“I don’t know why an individual going to Carnival needs to have a hatchet. A hatchet is used to cut wood. I don’t know there’s wood on the streets to be cut, and I don’t know why there were so much kitchen knives as though we were going to carve meat”, he added.
Commissioner Thompson questioned why young people attending entertainment shows will have such weapons in their possessions and that he is baffled as to why someone going out to enjoy him or herself would find it necessary to carry or contemplate the use of such weapons.
“We need to request an amendment to the law to make the penalty a lot greater than it is now. We have to find ways and means of dealing with the situation that currently exist,” he said.
According to Commissioner Thompson, the RGPF is resolute that weapons is not the way to go and searches will continue despite the fact that Carnival is over as they need to rid the society of the level of violence that currently exist.
He warned that the time has come to put an end to catching these people with offensive weapons and giving them a small fine or sentencing them to only two months in prison.
“It has to stop … we will be asking for the penalty to be revisited to ensure the crime of harm be dealt with in a very serious manner”, he said.
Under the present legislation, the crime of carrying an offensive weapon is a summary offence that carries a penalty of six months imprisonment.
Commissioner Thompson is suggesting that it should carry a few years imprisonment or both fine and confinement.
The chief cop also announced his intention to push for legislation to eliminate the sale of beverages in breakable bottles during the festive season in order to avoid a number of incidents.
He said that at least three persons sustained injuries this year from broken bottles.
Another major concern for the police is the tendency by the motoring publics to refuse to obey traffic signs.
He said that what the lawmen are discovering is that where there are unmanned signs, the motoring public pay very little heed to them.
Commissioner Thompson disclosed that Spice Mas 2K12 was free of major incidents.
He said he is now happy that the force can now resume normal duty after many days of sleepless nights, hard work and long hours by the men and women in uniform to ensure the public is safe and secure during the festive season.
He indicated that no major incidents were reported during the Carnival season although more than 40 people were arrested and charged with minor offences, three of whom were charged with offensive weapons.
The three persons were convicted in court- two were fined and one given a prison sentence.
Commissioner Thompson thanked the general public for the manner in which they conducted themselves.