A former senior member of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has called on the current Acting Police Commissioner Don McKenzie and the other members of the High Command to be more pro-active in tackling the recent proliferation of illegal guns on the island.
He made the statement against the backdrop of reports of another shooting incident Thursday night in the vicinity of the Tourist Vendor’s Market at Grand Anse in the south of the island which left one person injured.
He suggested that Commissioner McKenzie should give instructions to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and the Special Services Unit (SSU) to start conducting joint regular roadblocks and search of vehicles for arms and ammunition and other illegal stuff.
He said the High Command should send a strong message to the criminal elements in the society that the Police Force will come after them in order to take the guns off the street.
According to the ex-cop, even if few illegal firearms are recovered in these operations, it would result in those who have them in their possessions to hide them away and not bring them out to commit criminal acts because of fear of being caught by law enforcement officials. “They have to organise and do some searches,” he told THE NEW TODAY.
The retired senior cop indicated that a joint team of “good officers” from the three units should be immediately put together and given the mandate to engage in constant searches all over the island to get at the illegal guns and ammunition in the country. In addition, he said the lawmen should be on the ground picking up information in order “to target certain men” who might be in possession of these illegal firearms.
“Once the police on the run searching for guns, fellahs going back in their shell – they don’t want to lose their gun,” he said, adding that, “it is hard to know who have guns but you must be able to target a few fellahs and start searching them.”
The latest shooting is believed to be gang-related, as well as a “reprisal hit” and might have targeted an individual said to be the Leader of “The Bloods” in the Grand Anse area.There are reports that a masked gunman came from the area of the Grand Anse beach side and opened fire on the reputed Gang leader.
One reliable source close to the Underworld of Crimes told THE NEW TODAY: If it’s him (the Gang Leader) , he just was released from jail on remand for shooting a guy whose father is from River Road, but he lives in Mt Tout.
“He had shot (name withheld) from River Road and (name withheld) son … and just got bail. That hit was done by a Vincy since (name withheld) and his mom are closely linked to key players in the drug underworld in Vincy. “Yes, (name withheld) was the one who (name withheld) went to shoot that morning – is the one Carenage, Four Roads and Woburn guys want dead for trying to revive the gang warfare.”
The Grand Anse shooting comes against reports in some quarters in the country of large quantities of illegal firearms in the hands of criminal elements along the West Coast of the country and particularly in the Gouyave area.