Newly appointed Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin has signaled his intention to make changes within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) aimed at focusing on the new trends towards cyber crimes.
In his first meeting with the local media, the island’s new crime chief announced that some departments within the Police Force will be restructured to focus on Cyber Crimes, which is becoming a growing threat for Grenada and the world.
Acting Commissioner Martin believes that now is the time to take action so as to avoid escalation and difficulty in solving and preventing cyber crimes.
“We are in the computer age, we’ve had instances of scheming on machines at banks and things like that. We’ve had those instances occurring, and we cannot wait until we start having persons using skillware and malware to start defrauding individuals online before we develop the competencies to respond to that”, he said.
“The RGPF wants to be futuristic in its intentions and to put mechanisms in place to not only deal with the current threats but the threats that we anticipate could be coming as society evolves and develop…”, he added.
According to Martin, the problem is that Cyber Crimes can involve “a broad spectrum of crimes against machines”.
“…Cybercrime has an asymmetric capability depending on the type of cyber, you can commit from anywhere in the world to any other country in the world and that is what makes it (a) serious element and why it requires special focus from the Police Force going forward,” he said.
The chief cop spoke of the intention of RGPF to make use of existing legislation like the Electronic Crimes Act that was passed in Parliament to ensure that the Cyber Crimes are controlled.
“Initially, we will utilise legislation that is enforced and as we zero in and drill down on these new approaches where there is a requirement for added legislation or new legislation that recommendation would be made,” he said.
Acting Commissioner Martin disclosed that more than likely, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of RGPF will be given the added responsibility to spearhead the fight against cyber crimes with new units to be created within it.
“What we are looking to do is have departments restructured that these units can be factored in into those departments but certainly (in) the majority of instances they will come under an umbrella of the CID Department by creating dedicated units to have officers with special focus in those areas…”, he said.
“Of course, we will need to make sacrifices to commit resources to it – both physical and material resources to give these units the capacity to deliver on what the threat is but we need to evolve across the force based on the emerging threats and trends.
Martin who assumed responsibility for RGPF two weeks ago as the successor to former Commissioner Winston James said that as part of
his initiative towards a new thrust in the modernisation of the force and its operations a specialized sexual unit will be formed.
He noted that over the years, Grenada has been experiencing a number of sexual crimes, especially Child Sexual Abuse and it is in this regard that the force will place heavy emphasis on the creation of a new unit to address the issue.
“You would be aware that for a significant period of time, the largest number of cases that has been going to the High Court have been of a sexual crimes nature and no longer can we continue with ignoring this as a major threat in society and (I am) giving it a direct focus to address this problem”, he said.
“The Sexual Crimes Unit we believe needs to be created to address this problem and to deal with three elements as it relates to sexual crimes – to be more assertive in promoting in one element education and preventative measures at the community level (and) of course investigation of incidents when they occur and then to also have stronger support to victims of those crimes after they do occur”, he added.
Acting Commissioner Martin emphasized that RGPF has to evolve in order “to address the matters of criminality that concerns us and sexual crimes and cyber crimes (that) are two potential threats in those areas”.