The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has reported an above average year for Homicides in 2017 with eleven (11) murders recorded for the period as compared to the six or seven per year that would normally occur.
This was stated by Officer in Charge of the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the police force, Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre in an interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper.
Recognising that the number of homicides for 2017 was up by seven, Supt. McIntyre said it is a cause for concern but at the same time noted that Grenada is still at the lowest end when compared to other Caribbean islands.
“This really could give us some cause for concern but understanding the nature of how these crimes are committed – those homicides – they are really crimes of passion. It’s not like it’s heinous – most of them except we’ve had one coming to the end of the year, that tragic death of the eight-year old which has captured the attention of the world”, he said.
“…Outside of that, the other ones that we’ve had throughout the year (are) people losing their temper, not being able to resolve conflicts and resulting in actions that ended up being fatal, and I know on average technically that that has been the case of Grenada”, he added.
Mc Intyre went on: “So, when we compare our crime stats with other countries, we can say definitely that we are different despite our crime rate being lowest. We can also say that (is) how our crimes are committed – they are different.”
During 2016, domestic violence was the most dominant crime committed on the island but in 2017 it was sex crimes particularly against minors.
According to Supt. Mc Intyre, crime has gone down in some categories but where minors are concerned “we have seen a drastic increase in that”.
“We have incest as one of the emerging sex crimes that we are looking at and dealing with. Again, the sex offences that occurred over the period as we monitor it points back to societal arrangements and communities and how people deal with issues and what we have in place to deal particularly with minors and how community rally around issues and how children are brought up”, he said.
The senior police officer could not put his finger tip on the causes for the upsurge of sexual offences against minors.
“…I am hoping that as the issues become more spoken of through whatever medium is exposed, that we will find more ways of dealing with them and definitely going forward in 2018, sex offences and offences particularly against young people or minors in particular, I know it’s one of the things I know Commissioner … (does) have for us to drive strongly in 2018,” Mc Intyre said.
In reviewing traffic offences for 2017, the CRD head disclosed that within the last four years, there has been an increase in the number of vehicles on island resulted in more traffic offences.
Supt Mc Intyre pointed out that speeding on the nation’s road network continues to be of growing concern to the lawmen.
This, he said, would be addressed in 2018 with the introduction of a new road traffic law.
“Very soon we will move into having breathalysers. The instruments are already there in terms of the drafting of the law to put that in place but it isn’t complete in terms of the legislation catering for those breathalysers etc…
“So, the machinery is there so soon that will be implemented. The electronic gadgets while driving and so forth now we do have the law that speaks to the use of and the obstruction of cell phones and other things while driving and the use of the drinking of beverages otherwise while driving, that will be implemented and that’s a big thing for us; a milestone for us I would say in 2017 where traffic is concerned.”
With RGPF boasting of a crime solving rate of over 73%, Supt. McIntyre attributed this to the hard-working officers of the force and gave assurances that this will continue in 2018.