Financial Sense…Are you allergic to money?

You would think the way some people behaved with their money, that they had a money allergy. It’s almost as if they have a production line, as the money comes in it goes out.
A fool and his money are soon parted, is an old proverb which speaks directly to the unceremonious way some people dispose of their money – overspending, overindulging, and spending just for the sake of spending.
The Good News Translation Bible (GNT), expresses Proverb 21:20 as, “Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.”
While I am not too keen on their interpretation, as far as alluding to the fact the people who spend their money recklessly are stupid, it does point to a very serious issue. The issue of people spending more than they earn, the issue of living pay cheque to pay cheque, the issue of overdrawn credit cards are all serious issues, that plague people from all walks of life.
The way we spend reflects our background, experiences and psychological make-up. If you grew up in a state of perpetual money emergencies, chances are that you never learned any money management skills and because of that, you spend money in a vacuum, not connecting the dots.
Is there a secret to saving money? The thing is, most people do not have the necessary money management skills required, to manage even the smallest amount of money. One thing I know for sure is that it does not matter how much money you have, if you do not have the requisite knowledge to manage that money, you will lose it.
I hear people say all the time that their monthly income is too low and that they need to get a raise of pay. But no sooner they get a raise, they find some new debt to go into that will devour the extra income.
Maybe it’s not a function of how much you get, but rather what you do with it.
I wrote an article some time ago and one reader commented that people would have to eat grass to take some of the actions I was suggesting. But, if you were to ask some people, why they bought, that new “widget” or why after their final car payment, that car is no longer adequate, they won’t be able to tell you.
The fool and his money concept. The good news is that money management concepts are not new and they are all acquired skills. Sometimes you make a decision and in hindsight, you think, “oh my gosh, I could not have made that decision, it must be the devil that made me do it.” Because there could be no other explanation for your behaviour. But did he really?
What your behaviour is really saying is that you have no control. Have you ever gone to the supermarket to get two items and before you know it your shopping cart is filled with whatever you think you might need?
A recent survey indicated that people are spending $1.33 for every dollar earned – this translates into you spending more than you earn. Is it any wonder that so many people are in Debt?
You must have the ability to say no to those buying impulses, whether it’s a new car, the latest fashionable clothing, shoes, hair extensions, or whatever buying urge you might have. Every time you decide to buy an item, ask yourself “do I really need this item” or if you can delay purchasing the item, then delay it and you would see that every time you delay the purchase, you end up not buying it.
We are impulse buyers, most of the decisions we make about buying are done when we are eyeballing the items on the shelves. A lot of people operate without a budget, so there is no way for them to track their expenses.
A budget is not meant to be restrictive but rather, it’s a tool that helps to keep you on track with your spending. It helps you to control your money instead of your money controlling you.
There is something called the “pain of payment,” what this means is that when you use cash to pay for your purchases you are much more likely to pay attention to how much you spend. Using credit does not have the same effect. You end up buying more than you really need, forgetting that you must repay sometime in the future and at a higher rate.
Another thing to be mindful of is that those little expenses add up. Buying lunch every day for $10 or $15 may not seem like much, but it amounts to over $3000 in a year.
Try writing down everything you spend on in a month and you’d be amazed at how much you are spending. There’s nothing like seeing your expenses in black and white, to make you reconsider and redirect where you put your hard-earned money.
We live in an instant gratification society, we must have what we want and we want it now. Shopping is so simple these days that you can even shop while sitting on the toilet. You must set up barriers to spending so that it’s not as easy to get rid of your money.
One issue that keeps us in a downward spiral is that we avoid having to deal with our finances because we find it both confusing and upsetting. For you to get out of a bad financial situation, you must face what is happening to you, look at the numbers squarely, even if they make you want to hide. It’s your first step to financial independence.

(Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company)

A role for Bishop Harvey!!!

This weekend could be very crucial for the industrial relations climate in the country.

The ball is clearly in the court of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to engage the representatives of public sector employees to settle the issue of the one-off payment.

There is a lot at stake for the leaders of the Public Workers Union (PWU) and the Grenada Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) as the impasse continues to unfold.

In the case of TAWU, its President-General, Andre Lewis is very much on trial as this is the first major national issue he is facing since taking over the leadership from Senator Chester Humphrey.

Mr. Lewis has inherited a union which many see as being on the decline in terms of militancy given Humphrey’s about turn politically and going into “bed” with his one-time bitter enemy, Prime Minister Mitchell.

The island is watching to see if the new man in charge of TAWU is a “stooge” of Humphrey or whether he is independent enough to make his own decisions.

PWU’s Roberts has so far managed to keep at bay some elements within her own union who are plotting with “the enemy” to bring her down and to push the union on a course more in line with the current political directorate.

THE NEW TODAY senses that TAWU and PWU would move swiftly this weekend if the Mitchell-led government does not put a more reasonable offer on the table in order to bring an end to the impasse.

The next course of action could be solidarity strikes in which workers in other key and important sectors of the economy like electricity, water, port, and airport would be put on notice to get ready for battle.

A major player could be the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) if teachers were to take strike action as many parents would be forced to look at alternatives for their children while they go to work.

The tone of the Prime Minister at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing seems to suggest that Dr. Mitchell has lost touch with reality.

Apart from the top managers in the civil service, contract workers and the Imanis, the operations of government were badly affected as a large number of public sector employees took part in the 2-day strike.

This newspaper is doubtful that anyone within the current NNP setup can talk to their leader on shifting from his position as outlined during the press conference.

Dr. Mitchell is seemingly still gloating over his 15-0 victory over Congress in the 2013 general elections to put alongside the previous whitewash of the opposition in 1999.

It appears that even the 7-0 defeat that the NNP government suffered in the November 2016 Referendum on Constitutional Reform did nothing to wake him up to a new dispensation in the country.

The administration has contributed somewhat to the current dilemma with the unions due to its own actions, behaviour and posturing in recent years.

In the face of a biting Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), the Prime Minister ensured that his Press Secretary, Kisha Grant got a salary increase of $1000.00 per month and the Imanis were given a $300.00 top up per month while civil servants got zero in the last 4 years.

The Constituency Allowances of each of the 15 Government Members of Parliament were significantly increased and in the case of the Member of Parliament for St. George North-east, Tobias Clement his take home pay is roughly $13, 000 from St. George’s University and another $7, 000.00 from government.

Another bone of contention is the thousands of dollars paid each month to Dr. Lawrence Joseph for the newly created position of Advisor to Parliament which was seen as “Jobs for the boys”.

In light of the current situation, THE NEW TODAY is issuing a call to the newly elected Roman Catholic Bishop, Clyde Harvey to use his good office and get the Conference of Churches of Grenada (CCG) to intervene and help broker a deal in the one-off impasse.

Bishop Harvey is well-positioned to get the two warring sides around the table as opposed to some in the CCG who are seen as too “compromised” and mere “stooges” of the current administration.

The new Catholic Bishop is well-respected and his background and experience as a priest in Trinidad and Tobago in the volatile Laventille area of Port-of-Spain is a plus in helping to broker a deal between government and the two public sector unions.

It is our view that Bishop Harvey should be directly involved in the process and can be trusted by both sides.
THE NEW TODAY is now of the view that the sooner Dr. Mitchell calls the general elections it would be better for the country.

Let the people decide if they want to continue with the status quo and a leader who at 71 might be going fast downhill or look elsewhere for new and more youthful blood.

Concerns over Silver Sands

A debate is currently ongoing in some quarters with regards to exactly what will become of the 10-feet road, located between the new Silver Sands development project and the nearby Day Care Center and Pre-school, currently providing public access to the Grand Anse Beach, once the multi-million dollar project is completed.

The property directly in front of the day care centre and pre-school where Silver Sands developers are erecting additional project component

The allowed road also leads to a private property to the back of the Day Care centre.

One resident in the area accused the developers of the Silver Sand project of encroaching on the roadway.

He said: “When they (Silver Sands developers) were doing the drain (which runs alongside the road to the beach), they came into the road a bit.

“And to me it doesn’t seem as though the road is 10 feet anymore”, the concerned citizen told THE NEW TODAY.

Head of government’s Physical Planning Unit (PPU) Fabian Purcell confirmed with this newspaper on Monday that ongoing construction work directly in front of the Day Care centre is an addition to the new Silver Sands hotel development, which is being erected adjacently and now directly in front of the Day Care centre and pre-school.

When excavation works commenced in front of the Day Care centre back in June, it was widely speculated that it was associated with the new Silver Sands project.

At that time this newspaper contacted Purcell, who indicated that he had no knowledge of it and that “the Unit did not receive an application” from Silver Sand developers for construction to be conducted on the site.

“I am not aware of that,” Purcell said when asked if the excavation was linked to Silver Sands.

He could not say whether Physical Planning will look into the matter with a view to taking action.

However, Purcell told THE NEW TODAY on Monday, that “it is possible that the Planning and Development Authority could have granted permission for excavation” works before the necessary application was made.

The road between the Silver Sands project and the day care center leading to the Grand Anse Beach

According to law, in order for construction to take place on any site in the country, the Board of Directors of the Planning and Development Authority of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) must give approval.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the Silver Sands project was officially launched in January 2015, approximately three months before receiving approval by the Planning and Development Authority Board on April 30, 2015.

When construction commenced on the Silver Sands project back in 2015, concerns were then raised as to the impact it would have on the nearby school.

In response, the project developers erected a dust protection screen as a mitigation measure.

A similar screen has been erected to facilitate the construction of the additional phase of the Silver Sands project, which is running well past the announced 18-month stipulated completion date.

When asked, Purcell again declined to provide any information on what the new construction entailed.
Instead he directed THE NEW TODAY to the Physical Planning Unit front desk where “public information” can be accessed with the assistance of the employee stationed there.

PM Mitchell not concerned about the strike

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is seemingly not perturbed over the two-day strike action called by the Public Workers Union (PWU) and the Grenada Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU).

Speaking to reporters at a post-Cabinet press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Mitchell said that the effects of the strike that some persons were hoping to see as a result of the strike action will not be forthcoming.

Prime Minister Mitchell stated that at his own Ministry of Finance the workers were on the job.

“My own reading of things is that people are beginning to understand what is taking place. I was at the Ministry of Finance a while ago – our revenue base is intact, people are working, the leadership is there doing their work. The few areas that had misunderstandings appeared to be clarified at this point in time”, he said.

“I don’t see the impact that some people may have wanted to see for whatever reasons – I don’t see it occurring. So, I am very hopeful that common sense will prevail and that we will see an end to this impasse that appears to be occurring at this particular time,” he added.

Prime Minister Mitchell, without calling names accused some persons in the country of trying to use the unions against the government.

He said: “…Those who are using the workers will find that the workers have become much smarter than they are and I am convinced that this thing will not have the desired results that some of them wish to have”.

“I do not expect that we will see any escalation in this exercise”, he remarked.

PWU and TAWU ordered workers on Monday to take limited strike action over a lingering dispute on a one-off payment of $1500 for public officers.

The unions have refused the government’s offer of $650.

The strike action officially started on Friday when the unions ordered the island’s estimated 5, 500 civil servants to work only from 8.00 a.m. to midday.

It was extended on Monday when the workers remained off the job for the entire day and also on Tuesday.

THE NEW TODAY understands that during the strike action, most public officers stayed off the job at the Ministerial Complex with the exception of a few of the top managers and Imanis.

The Ministry of Education was affected by the strike, as well as the Fish Markets in St. George’s and Grenville, the dispensary at the St. George’s Health Centre was closed and some medical stations around the island operated with skeleton staff.

There are reports that fish vendors in Grenville were forced to sell fish underneath a tree as the Fish Market was closed.

In addition, the fish vendors in the city were begging for the Fish Market to open in order to get ice for their fish.

President of PWU, Rachael Roberts told reporters last Friday that they will ensure that their members are treated with justice by government.

President-General of TAWU, Andre Lewis said that the unions have followed the dispute resolution procedure and “have now passed the stage of the Minister for Labour and so the stage is set for us to do whatever is necessary to ensure that we get what is fair.”

Mitchell’s ruling New National Party (NNP) government had agreed to give the workers some financial benefits for the sacrifices made at the end of the three-year Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
Agreement was reached on a first one-off payment of $1000.00 out of $3000.00 with “more” to follow after July 2017 if “the fiscal space” allowed for government to do it.

The unions reduced the final expected package of $2000.00 to $1500.00 but government offered only $250.00.

In the face of constant rejections from the public sector unions, the government offer was raised to $500, then $600 and to the latest proposal of $650.00.

PWU and TAWU summoned the workers to a mass meeting last Thursday where the government offer was resoundingly rejected.

According to Prime Minister Mitchell, the government has already gone beyond its means to reach an agreement with public workers.

He spoke of the need to satisfy other sectors of the country and not only civil servants.

“We have the young people still out there without jobs. What do I do – forget them as Prime Minister? There are people whose homes are still wetting when rain falls in this country.

Should I forget them? Don’t give them anything, don’t give them a piece of board but just give more and more and more… (to public officers)?

“My conscience will not allow me to do it, and I think anyone who has a conscience will not proceed to want that to happen.

In an apparent reference to persons getting State assistance in the form of poor relief, Prime Minister Mitchell spoke of the government’s obligation to “the marginalised in the society who need help”.

“This $200 we give people (monthly) is that really money – we need to double that or triple it but they are there. They are our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and so on who have given a lot to this country”, he said.

Dr. Mitchell also reminded reporters of millions that government will have to raise to settle the long-standing pension issue with civil servants dating back to the ill-fated 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.

He said: “We have now settled on a pathway for pensions that can cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars. The minute we settle this (pension issue), the next thing you hear is that we want more one–off; but, where is the money coming from?”

The local high court has declared “null and void” the PRG decision in 1983 to stop pension payments to public officers on the establishment of the state-run National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

Dr. Mitchell sounded annoyed that public sector unions are demanding more money from a government that has provided so much for them.

He said, “We must know that others have to eat bread too, not me alone…”.

Jason Skeete takes over

The Grenada Steel Band Association (GSBA) has elected Jason Skeete as its new President.

Jason Skeete – takes over as President of the steel band body

Skeete was elected to the post on Saturday at a meeting of the association held at the Conference Room of the Coyaba Beach Resort in Grand Anse, St. George’s.

“It is not time for talk…it is time for work, we need to look inward and make significant changes and then our request from those on the outside will be granted”, said the newly installed President in his first public comment.

“Being president means that I have a responsibility to ensure the movement grows beyond expectations”, he added.

In recent years the association has been running under an interim executive leadership with an acting President, David “Peck” Edwards.

Skeete, who has been involved in the steel band movement for over 30 years, said it was “a humbling experience” for him to take over the leadership of the island’s pan movement at this point in time.

He gave a commitment that the new Executive under his leadership will meet with the Executive bodies of all 10 steel bands in the country before the end of December.

He pointed out that there are significant changes to be made, and that embracing many of these changes will see growth and a more prosperous and financially sound steel band community and movement.

“I have been involved in the steel band movement since 1985 as a child and when I thought it was time to step away God made other plans”, he said.

“I have embraced this opportunity with all my heart and with the purest of intentions. Nothing can be more satisfying at this stage than seeing the confidence and congratulations that have been expressed to me by so many…”, he added.

Skeete went on: “I know for a fact that every member of the executive committee has similar passion and determination for this wonderful and noble instrument.

“Growth, prosperity, love, and most of all commitment are the driving forces behind us as we put culture first. The past has had its history made; now it is time to shape a new history and leave something that those after us can build upon.

This is our leg and we will run it with honor and dignity. We welcome the support of everyone, we need you to help us because alone we will fail”.

The meeting took a decision to adopt a new constitution and members of the new executive gave a commitment to the development, love, and passion for the artform.

The Membership also instituted some new policies which included that no band will have more than one representative on the Executive Body and that No Active Arranger or Manager of any band will be allowed to serve on the executive.

A release from the pannists said that these measures were put in place to foster greater accountability and transparency.

Former Acting President, David “Peck” Edwards, was very elated about the election of the new Executive and pledged his continued support to the new executive.

The Membership was also high in praise and profoundly grateful to President of the Grenada Football Association (GFA), Cheney Joseph for his support in facilitating the constitution adoption and electoral process.

“The Grenada Steel Band Association is ready to make a difference and take things to a new level”, said the new leadership team in a press release issued.

Nine of the nation’s 10 steel bands were present at the meeting.

Apart from Steele, the other persons elected to serve on the GSBA executive are:

Vice President – Miguel Fortune, who previously served as interim president

Public Relations Officer – Brian Lindsay Campbell.

Treasurer – Alister James

Secretary – Kaycee Frederick

Assistant Secretary-Treasurer – Stephen Greenidge

Trustees – Shamella Lee and Victor Phillip

Financial Sense…Are you allergic to money?

You would think the way some people behaved with their money, that they had a money allergy. It’s almost as if they have a production line, as the money comes in it goes out.

A fool and his money are soon parted, is an old proverb which speaks directly to the unceremonious way some people dispose of their money – overspending, overindulging, and spending just for the sake of spending.

The Good News Translation Bible (GNT), expresses Proverb 21:20 as, “Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.”

While I am not too keen on their interpretation, as far as alluding to the fact the people who spend their money recklessly are stupid, it does point to a very serious issue. The issue of people spending more than they earn, the issue of living pay cheque to pay cheque, the issue of overdrawn credit cards are all serious issues, that plague people from all walks of life.

The way we spend reflects our background, experiences and psychological make-up. If you grew up in a state of perpetual money emergencies, chances are that you never learned any money management skills and because of that, you spend money in a vacuum, not connecting the dots.

Is there a secret to saving money? The thing is, most people do not have the necessary money management skills required, to manage even the smallest amount of money. One thing I know for sure is that it does not matter how much money you have, if you do not have the requisite knowledge to manage that money, you will lose it.

I hear people say all the time that their monthly income is too low and that they need to get a raise of pay.

But no sooner they get a raise, they find some new debt to go into that will devour the extra income.

Maybe it’s not a function of how much you get, but rather what you do with it.

I wrote an article some time ago and one reader commented that people would have to eat grass to take some of the actions I was suggesting. But, if you were to ask some people, why they bought, that new “widget” or why after their final car payment, that car is no longer adequate, they won’t be able to tell you.

The fool and his money concept. The good news is that money management concepts are not new and they are all acquired skills. Sometimes you make a decision and in hindsight, you think, “oh my gosh, I could not have made that decision, it must be the devil that made me do it.” Because there could be no other explanation for your behaviour. But did he really?

What your behaviour is really saying is that you have no control. Have you ever gone to the supermarket to get two items and before you know it your shopping cart is filled with whatever you think you might need?

A recent survey indicated that people are spending $1.33 for every dollar earned – this translates into you spending more than you earn. Is it any wonder that so many people are in Debt?

You must have the ability to say no to those buying impulses, whether it’s a new car, the latest fashionable clothing, shoes, hair extensions, or whatever buying urge you might have. Every time you decide to buy an item, ask yourself “do I really need this item” or if you can delay purchasing the item, then delay it and you would see that every time you delay the purchase, you end up not buying it.

We are impulse buyers, most of the decisions we make about buying are done when we are eyeballing the items on the shelves. A lot of people operate without a budget, so there is no way for them to track their expenses.

A budget is not meant to be restrictive but rather, it’s a tool that helps to keep you on track with your spending. It helps you to control your money instead of your money controlling you.

There is something called the “pain of payment,” what this means is that when you use cash to pay for your purchases you are much more likely to pay attention to how much you spend. Using credit does not have the same effect. You end up buying more than you really need, forgetting that you must repay sometime in the future and at a higher rate.

Another thing to be mindful of is that those little expenses add up. Buying lunch every day for $10 or $15 may not seem like much, but it amounts to over $3000 in a year.

Try writing down everything you spend on in a month and you’d be amazed at how much you are spending. There’s nothing like seeing your expenses in black and white, to make you reconsider and redirect where you put your hard-earned money.

We live in an instant gratification society, we must have what we want and we want it now. Shopping is so simple these days that you can even shop while sitting on the toilet. You must set up barriers to spending so that it’s not as easy to get rid of your money.

One issue that keeps us in a downward spiral is that we avoid having to deal with our finances because we find it both confusing and upsetting. For you to get out of a bad financial situation, you must face what is happening to you, look at the numbers squarely, even if they make you want to hide. It’s your first step to financial independence.

(Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company)

Police Nab Drug Suspect Marlon Lewis

Law enforcement officers have finally caught up with drug suspect 28-year-old Marlon Lewis, who is linked to the September 14, 2017, discovery of approximately 178 pounds of marijuana at Waltham, St. Mark, which carries a street value of $402,992.

Marlon Lewis – apprehended by police after weeks on the run

Lewis was apprehended by police officers attached to the Gouyave Police Station on October 14, hiding inside a dwelling house in Gouyave, St. John.

He is facing charges of Trafficking and Importing of a controlled drug.

Using his hands in an attempt to conceal his identity, Lewis appeared before the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court on Monday, represented by criminal defense attorney, Peter David.

The lawyer was successful in obtaining bail for his client in the sum of $100, 000.00 before Chief Magistrate, Her Honour Tamara Gill who set specific conditions including reporting to the Gouyave Police Station Mondays and Fridays between 7.00 a.m. and 6.00p.m.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Lewis was on Tuesday remanded to the Richmond Hill Prison since no one came forward to stand bail for him.

The manhunt for Lewis commenced after he evaded officers attached to the Grenada Coast Guard as he fled from a boat that was travelling along the shores of Waltham in St. Mark’s.

Lewis and his accomplices were reportedly returning to the island after making a trip to neighbouring St. Vincent, where they allegedly collected the illegal substance.

Officers attached to the Coast Guard reportedly found the illegal substance inside the fishing vessel that Lewis and two others were travelling in during the wee hours of September 13 into September 14.

It is alleged that when Lewis, described as the boat captain, and the other men in his company saw that the Coast Guard was approaching them, they abandoned the vessel and its contents and jumped off the boat in their quest to escape.

However, the Coast Guard officers managed to detain 33-year-old Jonathan Richards, who was charged with Trafficking and Importing of a controlled drug.

Richards, who has a record of 19 prior convictions, including two of a similar nature, was denied bail when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court on September19.

However, the accused was granted $100, 000.00 bail when he appeared at the Gouyave Magistrate’s Court on September 29.

The matter has been adjourned to November 9 at the Gouyave Magistrate’s Court.

Two men found dead

Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the death of Jerome King, a 54-year-old fisherman from Petite Martinique.

54-year-old Jerome King whose body was fished out of The Carenage waters last week Thursday morning

King’s body was retrieved from the waters in the vicinity of The Carenage, St. George’s last week Thursday morning (October 12).

THE NEW TODAY understands that the deceased worked as a Fisherman aboard one of the fishing trawlers docked in close proximity to where the body was found.

The crew on the boat reported to police that they last saw their colleague alive about 9.00 a.m. on the Wednesday.

THE NEW TODAY understands that when King was not seen on the boat the following day, the crew members started to look for him.

A well-placed source said that about 9.15 a.m. the workers called the police to report King missing and approximately 15 minutes after contacting the police, the body was spotted submerged in the Carenage waters.

A post-mortem was conducted, however, the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was not in possession of the results up until press time on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, police are also investigating the circumstances that led to the death of Jude Natoo,47, whose body was found along the Vendomme public road just after 3: 00 a.m on October 12.

The Labourer, who is popularly known as “Natoo,” was discovered in the vicinity of the community center by a passerby, who alerted the police.

The body, which was identified by a next of kin, was found face down with multiple bruises and blood flowing from the eyes and nose.

A police report said investigators are treating Natoo’s death as an apparent hit and run by a vehicle.

The lawmen are appealing to anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident to contact the nearest police station.

Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that the deceased and another individual who works at a popular shop in the area were seen earlier that day involved in a verbal altercation.

Up until press time on Wednesday, the police were awaiting the results of the autopsy that was conducted to determine the cause of death.

RGPF lends a helping hand

The Royal Grenada Police Force today has made a cash donation of ten thousand dollars to the Police Force of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

According to a police release, another twelve thousand, seven hundred and fifty-two dollars worth of non-perishable foods and other much needed items will be shipped to the officers by RGPF.

It said the monies were collected from members of the local force to assist their counterparts in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The release said: “A total of twenty-two thousand, seven hundred and fifty-two dollars and sixty cents were collected doubling the intended target of ten thousand dollars.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James thanked the members of RGPF “for their quick response and generous donation”.

Dominica was battered about a month ago by Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane.

China donates over US$2 million worth of vehicles to RGPF

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was the recipient of 37 vehicles from the People’s Republic of China to help improve policing on the island.

Some of the vehicles that are now in the possession of the local police force

The fleet of vehicles includes 15 pick-up trucks, 15 military vans, 5 prison buses, 1 military truck and 1 forty-seater bus valued at US$2.8 million

The vehicles were officially handed over to the police at a ceremony held at the Special Services Unit (SSU), Point Saline, St. George.

Resident Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yongchen said the gift is symbolic of the existing friendship between China and Grenada.

He described the occasion as “an important day to the RGPF but also an important day to the relations between Grenada and China”.

“China is ready to provide assistance to the capacity of the RGPF, according to agreement between China and Grenada. China has agreed to provide police logistic equipment worth 18 million yuen, equivalent to 2.8 million US dollars to the RGPF”, he said.

“…It is our pleasure that this equipment will enable the RGPF to enhance its capacity in safeguarding security and managing disasters which will help to make Grenada safer and stronger,” he remarked.

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell who was on hand to officially receive the vehicles announced that some of the vehicles will be distributed to different sectors in the country that may be in need.

“The vehicles that you have received are a substantial amount,” he said.

“It is meant for security of the country and primarily the head security apparatus is the Grenada Police Force but security colleagues, is not just a one-dimensional unit, most activities in the country can be tied to security”, he added.

PM Mitchell told the ceremony: “The members of the police force must not decide that they have 37 vehicles to drive around from tomorrow. So, if community policing requires a vehicle that is part of security, if Praedial Larceny requires a vehicle that is part of security, if the Ministry of Youth is in dire need of the protection of our young people to make sure that they don’t do things that you would have to be involved in, that is part of security in the country.”

Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yongchen hands the keys over to Prime Minister Mitchell

According to PM Mitchell, in past years other sections of the country were not pleased when donated vehicles from friendly governments and organisations were given only to RGPF and he is now seeking to distribute some of them to sectors in need.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Michael Francois thanked China on behalf of the police force for the “generous donation” of the vehicles.

ACP Francois also used the occasion to laud the local police force for its crime solving rate in the region, and felt that the vehicles handed over will further assist the force in that regard.

“The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has a very enviable crime solving rate which now stands at 73% compared to many of our counterparts across the region and so this donation would certainly enhance our capabilities and improve our response time in responding to complaints by members of the public. It has been a long time coming but we are very happy that it has finally come”, he said.

Grenada has the enviable record of the lowest crime rate for serious offences like Murder and Manslaughter in the Eastern Caribbean.