The New Today
Editorials

National security concerns!!!

Last Saturday night’s incident around the Carenage Ghetto in which 26 shots were fired off within a space of about 90 minutes should be a cause for national concern.

There have been the occasional outburst of a few shots in this troubled and drug-infested area over the years but this latest incident was very much different and unprecedented in this small section of the Carenage.

The explosions were quite loud and frightening to residents who lived within close proximity to the Ghetto to the point that many of them were forced to take cover on the floor inside their homes, as well as under their beds out of fear for their lives.

THE NEW TODAY is forced to ask some pointed questions about the reaction of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to this development given the fact that Police headquarters is about a mile away.

Questions also have to be asked about the exact response time that a contingent from the Police Force was deployed to go into the troubled area where the gunshots were coming from and to take effective control of the situation.

A resident said that the first volley of 10 shots came just before 10.00 p.m. on the night in question and two other shots were fired at around 10.40 p.m. and the final burst of 14 shots came around 11.15 p.m.

A primary school student with a little common sense can deduce that if the Police had responded to the initial outburst of shots and came into the area immediately the person suspected of the act would not have fired off the final volley almost 90 minutes later.

The Police also have two stations within walking distance of the Ghetto – the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Green Street and Central Police Station near to the Port Authority.

The residents were besieged and reported that they did not hear any police vehicle coming into their small community or sighted any member of the Security Forces on foot for the night.

The suspect was spotted sometime after the last outburst coming from the Ghetto and moving onto H.A Blaize Street.

Where was the Police when this happened? How come a few residents saw him but the Police who should have been present did not see the individual who is well-known to them as he was recently released from Remand at the Richmond Hill prison for a gun-related crime?

A resident overlooking the Carenage claimed that the type of firepower coming from the Ghetto on the night was quite loud and frightening.

It seems to suggest that the criminal elements have now acquired the type of fire power that might rival or even surpass those in the hands of our own Special Services Unit (SSU) and the Rapid Response Unit (RRU).

Is it that the Security Forces might not have been inclined to go into a “War Zone” in which they were unsure of the type of hostility that might be met, especially a possible ambush?

THE NEW TODAY is calling on the Police High Command to place greater focus and emphasis on Intelligence gathering especially with the Special Branch given the information in some underworld quarters about large shipments of illegal arms and ammunition coming into the country.

Who are the persons behind this in terms of financing? Is this part of a wider plot and scheme to destabilise the country and to help target the government as ineffective in safeguarding citizens?

What is also disconcerting is reports coming out from inside RGPF that some elements have deliberately taken the position not to risk their lives in the face of gunfire from criminal elements in the country due to the type of salaries on offer.

The planners in National Security should also be mindful of the fact that a new type of creature is now occupying certain positions within the Police Force and the days of the “old police” who showed bravery and were prepared to go into any situation are apparently over.

This is the era of the so-called “educated cop” who does not want to have anything to do with what is called “old policing” methods.

Grenada is facing a ticking time-bomb in the world of crime as reports are already circulating on the ground that gang warfare between a group called 6ixx and another known as Seven Gang in Trinidad could soon spill over into Spice country as both factions seek to expand their operations into the islands.

Does the government, Ministry of National Security and RGPF fully understand the threat posed to the country by Gang Warfare?

The fact that one of the shooters from Trinidad came through the Woburn area and was operating in Grenada even after the Egmont Shooting is chilling and a lesson to those involved in National Security.

Do we have more professional “Hit Men” from St Vincent, Trinidad and other crime-infested islands lying low in Grenada at the moment?

THE NEW TODAY is suggesting that those in charge of National Security beef up the Special Branch through training, as well as engaging the retired top members of the unit through monetary rewards to assist in intelligence gathering to help arrest the situation and to prevent it from escalating and deteriorating beyond our control.

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