SVG Budget 2012

PM rejects ‘things-are-not-as-bad thesis’ on crime

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Vincentians should not be satisfied with saying that the country’s murder rate is lower than their Caribbean neighbours, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said in his budget address Monday.

He further said that crime should be discussed outside of the partisan political debate.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said that crime “stabilised somewhat” in 2011, “though still at an unacceptable level, in comparison to previous years and the crime rate regionally”.

He noted that this country last year recorded 25 homicides, two fewer than in 2010.

“Regionally, the homicide rate is unacceptably high, not only in countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, but in many other CARICOM countries,” he said.

“However, we cannot, and must not, be satisfied with merely asserting that things are not as bad in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, crime-wise, as compared to the rest of CARICOM. The things-are-not-as-bad thesis contains the danger of complacency to which we must never succumb on this critical issue. We must thus be evermore tough on crime and on the cause of crimes,” he told Parliament.

“First, though, we must in this country take the partisan political discourse out of the war against crime. We are all in this together. There is nothing ULP or NDP about crime. When discussing this subject we must present facts; seek the truth from the facts; analyse the issues dispassionately and rationally; make practical and effective proposals to tackle crime; and then let us all work together on fighting crime,” he further said.

He said that the nature of man results in a propensity to break the law and a crime-free society will exist only in Heaven.

“However, in this earthly city we must strive to curtail crime and reduce it to an acceptable minimum, consistent with the highest possible level of civilised living.”

Gonsalves noted that this country first recorded 20 murders in one year in 1998 and then in 2000, 2002, and 2009.

In 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2010, this country reached the 25-murders-per- year barrier and slightly beyond while in 2007, 36 suspected murders were recorded.

Since 1998, 13 or fewer murders per year were recorded in 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2006, he further added.

“These figures should remove any temptation for ridiculous, partisan political finger-pointing and ought to remove from serious consideration any simplistic, ― economistic‖ causation for homicide particularly when read in conjunction with the data on GDP performance and poverty/indigence levels,” Gonsalves said.

“Indeed, the economistic explanation is unavailable as the fundamental, principled, major or root cause of crime. The overwhelming body of comparative literature and research on this subject, globally, including the Caribbean, shows the causation of crime, to be exceedingly complex and many-sided,” Gonsalves said.

He listed among the central causal factors “family and kinship considerations, the socialisation process, a culture of crime in particular sections of communities, peer group pressure or influence, crime as a matter of choice, psychological predispositions or deviance, greed, evil, economic impetus of one kind or another, and low rates of detection and conviction.

“Clearly, the response to crime has to be many-sided, including the mechanisms of the family, the church, the school, community groups, positive peer group activities, the media, sports, music, culture, the private sector, the Police Force, the Law Courts, the Prisons — including rehabilitation –, social and economic programmes, regional and international cooperation arrangements, and the ameliorative work of several other apparatuses of the state,” Gonsalves said.

“I again appeal to every law-abiding citizen and resident to work assiduously together to curb criminal activities and to influence the tiny minority of criminal elements in our midst to turn away from crime, especially serious crimes of violence, including those against women and children. We cannot afford to lose this war.”

In 2012, the recurrent expenditure for the Police Force is budgeted at EC$$28.56 million, EC$$2.98 million for the Fire Service, and EC$$3.82 million for the Coast Guard, a total of EC$$35.36 million.

EC$5.5 million goes to the Prisons, EC$$1.4 million as the nation’s contribution for the RSS, EC$$133,152 for salaries for the staff of the National Commission on Crime Prevention, EC$$418,920 for the staff of the Forensic Unit, EC$$2.38 million for the Passport and Immigration Department, EC$$675,000 as a subvention to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); EC$$1.75 million for the Port Police, and a grant of $120,000 for the Cadet Force.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said on Tuesday that government should not be blamed for homicide and that a concerted effort is needed to address the situation.

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Discussion

9 thoughts on “PM rejects ‘things-are-not-as-bad thesis’ on crime

  1. Mr Prime Minister, I am very happy about that great speech you have delivered on the national crine rate in SVG. On saying this, my opinion Mr Prime Minister is that I believe if the two top leaders of the nation,the Prime Minister and the Governor General collaborate with the Courts, there might be stratigies to be analysed in regards to enforcing tough rules to help get the illegal guns from the criminal hands. Certainly this will create a drastic reduction in overall crime rate in SVG since less illegal guns means less shooting.

    Mr Prime Minister,I believe Goverment should also set up controlmeasures over the purchase and possession of machettes/cutlasses. Citizens should fit into certain criteria by showing proofs to possess cutlasses and matchettes.

    The Prime Minister has multiple tasks to deal and that is why the Commissioner should make certain recommendations to the PM. Nothing personal Mr Keith Miller,former co-officer,but its time to wake up and smell the coffee.

    VincyPatriot ForeignBASE.EDUCATOR
    NEUTRAL AND INDEPENDENT.

    Posted by Danniel8 | January 12, 2012, 06:37
  2. “There is nothing ULP or NDP about crime”. Can you believe that this creep said this. When in opposition he continually blamed NDP for crime . Said that Mitchell and police chief were to blame for the crime. Now he is seen to be unable to control crime, he says there is nothing ULP or NDP about crime.

    It’s really not wake up and smell the coffee, its WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SULPHUR.

    Prof., there is legislation on the books that requires cutlass to be carried securely wrapped. Yet you see people walking about in towns and villages with uncovered cutlass. Uncovered cutlass in a public area without due excuse should be classed as carrying an offensive weapon and the holder prosecuted. There can be no excuse to carry an unsheathed cutlass in a town village or anywhere. This is a work tool not a weapon for defence in a public place.

    If the police did not have such a bad press and behaviour record in beating people at there own will. I am sure they would get more help from the public regarding firearms. Most communities know which bad boys have got guns. People do not trust the police to keep their source of information a secure secret, they are rightfully fearful.

    I blame Gonsalves for police behaviour because among a number of things, the removing of the PACE legislation from the books, this allows the police an unhindered and uncontrolled behaviour and the brutal treatment of the public.

    You must all keep in mind how the police who almost killed a boy during questioning, causing him to be in a coma for some days, were reinstated. Instead of charging them with attempted murder or grievous bodily harm, they were charged with lesser charges. They were still found guilty and became convicted criminals. Instead of relieving them of their jobs, they were reinstated. Now we have police with criminal records, with records of violence, still dealing with the public and questioning suspects. Now! these officers were reinstated by Miller, but he could never of done so without the express permission or even instruction of Gonsalves. The same as I believe that the lesser charges brought against these officers could not have happened without the DPP Williams, Gonsalves and Miller conspiring together. I could be wrong but that is my belief.

    Therefore it is my belief that Gonsalves is responsible for the crime in SVG and an enquiry should be set up to look into what happened before, during and after the above case.

    Sorry I used the word “CREEP” in the first sentence, I would have used “USELESS DIRTY DOG” but Gonsalves has a copyright on this phrase, he has used it on several occasions against Vintcentian citizens. So as I cannot describe him as a man of quality, I use the mild word “CREEP” .

    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SULPHUR

    Posted by Peter | January 12, 2012, 11:03
  3. I would love to know what is the Opposition NDP position on the regional crime and security agenda, and their support if any for Caricom Impacs and its sub agencies the Jrcc and Rifc.

    I do not believe that our PM is truly serious about Crime and Security, and as such he should give up the National Security portfolio.

    Caricom Impacs, a regional crime and security agency which is to be funded funded by a few Caricom Member States (St. Vincent has never paid a shilling to its operations/projects), has been undergoing severe financial hardships for the past few months. Although our PM is both natl security and finance minister he steadfastly refuses to support and contribute to these agencies as obligated under their creation. About 100 staff (Vincentians included) and suppliers are owed salaries, gratuities and outstanding bills going into the millions since the beginning of 2011.

    Some of the activities done by Impacs and its sub agencies Rifc and Jrcc include the provision of border security training to customs and immigration officers, training for all law enforcement officers, convene and host meetings for the standing committees of police commissioners, immigration chiefs, intelligence personnel (criminal and financial intelligence) military chiefs, comptrollers of customs.

    Additionally, if you check the Jrcc website link below you will also see that every time you or any other passenger (local or foreign) travel throughout (in or out) of the Caribbean there is something called APIS – Advanced Passenger Information Service, where everyone is processed/screened through several intelligence and security databases and if anything pops up on an individual the necessary action is taken. Thus ensuring your safety once that person is known to intelligence sources.

    Somebody please tell the PM to try his very best to deal with the facts accordingly and play his part as the responsible leader he professes to be. All the talk about Regionalism, Unity, the need for collective Crime and Security measures, being your brothers keeper, and defending the inalienable rights of your people are nothing but talk without any action. Talk is and will always be CHEAP!

    Its all nice and dandy for the PM when he goes to bed at nights since he is well protected in his fortified dwellings and moves around with personal security, but what about the rest of us?!

    Maybe he needs to make another begging trip to source funds to assist. Hmmmmmmmmmm quite possibly so!

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Cash-strapped_Impacs_to_cut_jobs-136918223.html

    http://www.caricomimpacs.org

    http://www.impacsjrcc.org

    Posted by Vincy Lover | January 12, 2012, 11:37
  4. You could be right VINCY LOVER, can you think of and suggest any country that Gonslaves can go and scrounge from.

    The criteria of selecting scrounge destinations is that they must have many political prisoners, many accusations of human rights abuses and preferably murder, abuse, imprisonment and execution of Christians for being Christians. They must require SVG to vote on their behalf at the UN, and in return heap millions dollars on us towards the ‘Christian Blood Airport’ [CBA] at Argyle.

    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SULPHUR

    Sorry I mis-spelled his name in the first sentence, Gonsalves.

    Posted by Peter | January 12, 2012, 12:01
  5. More talking… less ACTIONS.

    Posted by Muah | January 12, 2012, 12:03
  6. Peter both you and Vincy lover have made some good points but I don’t have time now to give a full respond. I will do that later. One more thing,I find it strange that I cannot get my I-Witness post send off any more by using the regular route you guys are using, even though I am receiving. Besides my system is 100% virus free. I am wondering if their is a block on the SVG end. I really did bring that to Chance attention. Any ay I will be using face book and word press for now.

    Always.
    Prof-Dasilva
    VincyforeignBase. Neut&indep

    Posted by Danniel8 | January 12, 2012, 13:33
  7. Most of the posts do not come from SVG so there should be no block there. Try using a different service provider like gmail.

    Posted by Peter | January 12, 2012, 19:46
  8. I wish that SVG could start building more public housing. Impliment building codes. Fix the roads. Have an international airport. Develope tourism. Educate the youth to take over and run the the country in the future. Look at the other caribean nations. Which is the least developed? Stop ignorance, roots it out. Set literacy standands. Make playgrounds for the children. Create jobs for the people. Remove the banana republic image. on so on

    Posted by tony | January 13, 2012, 06:56
  9. Tony you can thank Gonsalves because he and his government have destroyed the banana industry in SVG, therefore we can no longer be classed as a ‘Banana Republic’.

    Under the Gonsalves watch we have become World leaders in RAPE, FEMALE MURDER, WOMAN BEATING AND ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE, and several other actions.

    We are also one of the Worlds leading scrounging states, and Gonsalves prostitutes SVG at the expense of the blood of Christians to pay for our international airport. That is why we now call it ‘The Christian Blood Airport’ [CBA].

    So we are up their with World leaders in some things at least. Thank you Gonsalves.

    WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SULPHUR

    Posted by Peter | January 14, 2012, 13:10

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