The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is requesting the assistance of the General Public in wrapping up investigations into the four unresolved gun violence cases that have recently plagued the country.
Eight gun-related incidents have occurred on the island in two months forcing the police force to express concern over this unprecedented record over the years.
Although a number of arrests and charges have been laid with the arrest of some persons, Head of Crimes, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Trevor Modeste and Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Superintendent Earl Dunbar told reporters at a press briefing last Wednesday that the lawmen are yet to solve four of the gun incidents.
The unsolved cases are the March shooting at Belmont, St. George where one man lost his life, the April shooting in Victoria, St Mark, where two persons were injured with one bullet, another shooting at Mt. Parnassus, St. George, where one person was injured and the recent execution in Telescope, St. Andrew where a political activist of the ruling party lost his life.
The two senior police officers conceded that there could be a possible link in the hike of gun violence in the country to the illegal drug trade.
According to ACP Modeste, the guns are seemingly coming into the island from as far away as the United States.
He said: “Based on the weapons that we have recovered, the guns come from as far as the United States, they come from St. Vincent, they come from Venezuela, they come from all around and it is possible that it is due to the drug trade or the importation through barrels. Yes, they have been linked to other crimes committed in other countries”.
ACP Modeste suggested that there could also be a “copy-cat” effect happening in Grenada with the gun crimes that are being committed on some of the other neighbouring islands.
“What you have to understand is that there is a trickling effect and also in criminalistics, you have something you call Copy Cat Syndrome where something happens in another country or something happen in an area, criminals will copy. If you look at some of the incidents, you can definitely see the likeness of similar cases in other Caribbean Islands…”, he said.
“If you look at the demographics in regards to persons carrying out those violent crimes and the action of those persons carrying out violent crimes and the investigating of those persons carrying out violent crimes, you will see that it is similar to the crimes that are committed in other countries. And you can see that it was prevalent in other countries but it was not happening here and you can see a nexus also, you can see that they are linked with the other Caribbean Islands,” he added.
Supt Dunbar dismissed the notion held in some quarters that the persons involved in the unsolved gun crimes are non-nationals.
He said: “So far the persons that were detained regarding those investigations are locals. There is nothing to suggest or indicate thus far that the crimes committed involved non-nationals and hence the reason we are continuing with investigations.
“We are looking at all of the information that we have received and once we have exhausted those information, then maybe we might think otherwise but currently I do not think it is safe for us to say that it involves non-nationals…”, he added.
Supt Dunbar made another appeal to the public “to help us in solving these four particular crimes where we believe that there is still information out there that can assist us in solving those crimes”.
The RGPF has so far for 2018, confiscated four firearms from the community.