A senior crown counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has implored upon Grenadians, especially the nation’s youth to find better ways to resolve conflicts than the commissioning of violent crimes, which in most cases result in serious bodily harm and even deaths.
“There must be a better way to resolve disputes,” declared Jamaican-born attorney Howard Pinnock, who is prosecuting the most recent Non-Capital Murder case brought against 33-year-old Telescope, St. Andrew resident, Steven Croney, for the May 20 shooting death of Cainissac Edwards, who also resided in the same village.The Senior Crown Counsel was at the time speaking with reporters following Croney’s first court appearance last week Wednesday at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court presided over by Nevlyn John.
Pinnock also suggested that the general public have to play their part in maintaining a safe society for all.
“This thing of crime concerns all of us as Grenadians. We are all stakeholders in Grenada and crime and justice is not only the police (business), it is everybody’s business”, he said.
According to Pinnock, the “troop strength of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), is less than 1, 000, which is less than 1%” of the country’s population of roughly 110, 000.
“So, I am asking the public, let us continue to cooperate because crime and justice is everybody’s business (and) we shouldn’t have people saying they are not taking part when these things take place. We cannot afford to have Grenada going like the way of some other countries right here in the Caribbean,” he remarked.
Less than 90 miles away from Grenada is Trinidad and Tobago whose murder rate so far for the year is well over the 200 mark with most of the killings linked to the illegal drug trade.
According to statistics obtained from the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), 17 shooting incidents have been recorded so far in 2018, 9 of which amounted to criminal activity, with only 5 arrests being made.
In February, police announced that they were investigating a shooting incident, which occurred on January 31 at Dougalston, St. John in which a man was allegedly shot in his right leg.
Police have not made any arrest in the shooting.
However, the lawmen have charged 3 young men in connection with a May 1 shooting incident at the popular Bathway Beach in the northern Parish of St. Patrick, which left another man hospitalised.
The suspects – Von Cyrus of The Carenage, Seon Grant of River Sallee, and Kemlon Andrew of Seamon – are facing joint charges of attempted murder, grievous harm, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, while Andrew has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Another shooting incident occurred on May 10, in the Southern village of Mont Toute, which left a 32-year-old male resident hospitalised with injuries to his left elbow, forearm, upper right side of the abdomen and lower right side of the hip.
A St. George’s teenager, 19-year-old Hakim Mc Queen of Beausejour, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting incident and on May 16, he was remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison on charges of Assault, Attempted Non-Capital Murder, Possession of Firearm and Ammunition.
Two days earlier, on May 14, 23-year-old Jonathan Richards from River Lane, Gouyave, St. John, was brought before the St. George’s Magistrate’s Court for attempted capital murder and possession of firearm and ammunition in connection with a shooting incident on April 21 in the same parish, which resulted in the victim losing one of his kidneys.Police investigators have also been unable to make a breakthrough in the March 16 shooting death of 32-Year-old Shaneil “Shizzle” Blackman, who resided at Belmont, St George.
Blackman met his death after receiving a single gunshot wound, which punctured his upper right chest and ricocheted to his lower abdomen on the fatal night.
RGPF has been expressing concern about the emerging trend of the use of firearms in the country and issued a reminder to the general public that “it is illegal to own or possess a firearm without a license from the appropriate authority (and) that there is legislation that governs the ownership, use and carrying of firearm and legal consequences for the misuse of same.”
The police also appealed to members of the public with knowledge of anyone suspected of having in their possession unlawful firearms and or ammunition to inform the force.