Grenada’s 2018 Carnival season was relatively quiet and peaceful except for a string of petty crimes.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference at the headquarters of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) at Fort George, St. George’s last Thursday, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Jessmon Prince this year’s celebration was “safe and generally peaceful”.
ACP Prince was flanked by Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Superintendent Earl Dunbar and Officer-in-charge of the Traffic Department Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Linford Kingston.
He attributed the peaceful carnival season to the zero tolerance efforts by the lawmen on offensive weapons since the season began a few weeks earlier.
According to ACP Prince, the crimes committed during the days of carnival related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Rape, Dangerous Harm, Grievous Harm, Causing Harm, Cause of intent to Harm, Assault, Drug Possession, Disorderly Behaviour, and Driving without a driver’s licence.
He also said that a number of persons were arrested by the police in relation to offensive weapons.
“A number of offensive weapons were seized and a number of persons were arrested and charged. Today, we can say that we have had six persons convicted at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court and sentenced to imprisonment from three months each while there are many others awaiting trial in the southern and western magisterial districts”, he told reporters.
CID Chief, Supt. Dunbar said that the lawmen had been concerned about property crimes during the carnival season but “complaints for property crime were “very, very low”.
“…We are very happy about that for the simple reason that during this period we somewhat anticipated that there may be a likelihood to have an increase in property crimes but what we (have) seen in this period is really, really low”, he remarked.
ACP Prince disclosed that the control of the traffic during the biggest show for Spicemas – Groovy/Soca Monarch Finals at the national stadium at Queen’s Park – posed a serious challenge for members of the force.
He said the nearby the Wesley school ground had to be used “to do some of our parking” and it helped in the circumstances.
However, ACP Prince stated that in going forward, RGPF will be looking seriously into introducing the system of park and ride and carpooling for a show of that magnitude to help eliminate the traffic nightmare.
In reflecting on the peaceful nature of patrons during the Carnival Season, the high-ranking member of the Police High Command lauded the “churches who prayed for peace, safety and stability in our Carnival, God answered your prayers.”
He said the entire police force and the public must also be commended for the part they played in ensuring a safe carnival.
“The carnival period in Grenada over the years presents the greatest challenge for law enforcement and for members of the RGPF. I know that can be the same for other departments in the government service but as it relates to the Royal Grenada Police Force and law enforcement, Carnival period has always proven to be our greatest challenge and this is so because people in general tend to do everything in excess – excess drinking, excess eating, excess spending, driving, speeding, hurrying to go nowhere.”
“Most alarming, people become careless about their personal security and the security of their own property, thus becoming victims themselves and in some instances perpetrators of crime while we as law enforcement officers have to remain calm, cool and collective, in some cases leaving our families and homes to be out there in our communities, in our nation to maintain the peace and stability of our country during our festive seasons.”
The RGPF’s Carnival operations was launched in July with the intention to establish and maintain a safe and secure environment for the public to go about their business without the fear of crime.
“I believe that the general consensus is that our intention was realized”, ACP Prince quipped.
In recognition of the hard work and dedication of the men and women in uniform, a decision was taken to grant them a four day rest period to be taken before January 1st, 2019.