The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was the recipient of 37 vehicles from the People’s Republic of China to help improve policing on the island.
The fleet of vehicles includes 15 pick-up trucks, 15 military vans, 5 prison buses, 1 military truck and 1 forty-seater bus valued at US$2.8 million
The vehicles were officially handed over to the police at a ceremony held at the Special Services Unit (SSU), Point Saline, St. George.
Resident Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yongchen said the gift is symbolic of the existing friendship between China and Grenada.
He described the occasion as “an important day to the RGPF but also an important day to the relations between Grenada and China”.
“China is ready to provide assistance to the capacity of the RGPF, according to agreement between China and Grenada. China has agreed to provide police logistic equipment worth 18 million yuen, equivalent to 2.8 million US dollars to the RGPF”, he said.
“…It is our pleasure that this equipment will enable the RGPF to enhance its capacity in safeguarding security and managing disasters which will help to make Grenada safer and stronger,” he remarked.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell who was on hand to officially receive the vehicles announced that some of the vehicles will be distributed to different sectors in the country that may be in need.
“The vehicles that you have received are a substantial amount,” he said.
“It is meant for security of the country and primarily the head security apparatus is the Grenada Police Force but security colleagues, is not just a one-dimensional unit, most activities in the country can be tied to security”, he added.
PM Mitchell told the ceremony: “The members of the police force must not decide that they have 37 vehicles to drive around from tomorrow. So, if community policing requires a vehicle that is part of security, if Praedial Larceny requires a vehicle that is part of security, if the Ministry of Youth is in dire need of the protection of our young people to make sure that they don’t do things that you would have to be involved in, that is part of security in the country.”
According to PM Mitchell, in past years other sections of the country were not pleased when donated vehicles from friendly governments and organisations were given only to RGPF and he is now seeking to distribute some of them to sectors in need.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Michael Francois thanked China on behalf of the police force for the “generous donation” of the vehicles.
ACP Francois also used the occasion to laud the local police force for its crime solving rate in the region, and felt that the vehicles handed over will further assist the force in that regard.
“The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has a very enviable crime solving rate which now stands at 73% compared to many of our counterparts across the region and so this donation would certainly enhance our capabilities and improve our response time in responding to complaints by members of the public. It has been a long time coming but we are very happy that it has finally come”, he said.
Grenada has the enviable record of the lowest crime rate for serious offences like Murder and Manslaughter in the Eastern Caribbean.