Is Grenada descending into a lawless state?
THE NEW TODAY is forced to ask the above question in light of recent developments in the country especially the rising tide of gun violence with deaths and an upsurge in the illegal drug trade.
The situation is not yet at crisis level but the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) need to be more aggressive in taking charge of the situation and sending a strong and serious message to those “hot spot” areas like Saigon in South St. George.
Our neighbour Trinidad and Tobago did not just get up one morning and realise that violence was on the increase and hoodlums had actually taken over some areas of the country.
The situation in TNT deteriorated over a period of years and is making Port-of-Spain the murder capital in the English-speaking Caribbean after Kingston in Jamaica.
If our police force does not act swiftly, there will soon be another “Saigon” in some other section of the country as the growing youth population have a much different mindset to those of the 70’s and 80’s.
It is this band of youthful members of the society who have replaced the old “dons” and are now the major players in the movement of illegal drugs in the country like ganja and cocaine and the guns that are now causing a major problem for RGPF.
The police need to be more pro-active in addressing this plague and menace in the society which if not turned back can have negative impact on the vital tourism industry.
As far as THE NEW TODAY is concerned the Police Force dropped the ball badly and did nothing to prevent the incident in Saigon in which Kendall Smith was chopped and killed by a group of six persons.
This murder could have been avoided if the police had taken some kind of action as they had full knowledge of the situation which existed in Saigon.
Smith had visited South St. George Police Station and informed the officers at the station that he was fearful for his life after a chopping incident in which he inflicted some wounds to one named with “Timmy”.
What did the police do with this information provided by the slain man? Is there a policy within RGPF on how such situation should be handled?
Who is in charge of South St. George Police station – and what course of action was suggested in light of Smith’s complaint?
If a prominent family member in the country living in the likes of Lance Aux Epines, Fort Jeudy and Westerhall Point was faced with a similar situation, would RGPF had acted the same way?
The signs of in-action by the police force in grappling with the situation was further compounded by the holding of an all-night street party in Saigon on Wednesday night, leading into Thursday morning which was the Corpus Christi holiday.
Why would the police allow such an activity to take place in “Saigon” so soon after the two chopping incidents in which one ended tragically in the death of Smith?
Who gave permission for these elements in this “hot spot” area of the country to hold the block party so soon after the tragic events?
Did those who control the “business” in Saigon take on their own without police permission to stage this all-night activity?
Is there a law in the country on the hours for the sale of alcohol and the likes?
However, much more important is the question – why Saigon was not “locked down” by the police in light of the recent violent activities in the place?
This state of lawlessness is being compounded by the actions of some politicians in the country to by-pass the actions of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) to enforce law and order in some places.
THE NEW TODAY has picked up information of two recent incidents in one of the constituencies in the Parish of St. George in which the Grenada Ports Authority and the PPU were prevented from doing some specific activities.
It is alleged that residents in the area who are mainly supporters of the “Green Machine” made telephone calls to a particular high up who instructed them to do what they are doing and forget those who were trying to interfere with them.
This is the state of play in Grenada today – the makers of law in Parliament are encouraging their supporters to break the law.
Is it any wonder that the country is on a slippery slope and fast descending into a lawless state?