It is appalling to see the petty offenses that residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are thrown into for months. The unemployment rate is rising and there is no fix in sight and so the crime rate will rise. It is just a matter of survival. People will do what it takes to make ends meet.
May I suggest that this is a grand opportunity for the Government to act and be very smart. My suggestion is to set up a task force to look at the crime situation in the country and ask them to make recommendations in bringing the situation under control. A seventeen (17) members panel given the mandate to submit a report to the Governor-General within ninety (90) days and lay a copy of the report in the next sitting of Parliament.
The Task Force should comprise the following:
- The Leader of the Opposition
- A member of the Government
- A member of The Christian Council
- A member of the Trade Union
- A representative from the Nothern Grenadines
- A representative from the Southern Grenadines
- A member of the Chamber of Commerce
- A member of the Hotels and Tourism sector
- An Officer of The Police Force
- A member from the Financial and Banking sector
- A member of The Human Rights Association
- A member of The Supermarket Association
- Two members appointed by The Governor General
- A member of the Cruise Ships Association
- A member of the Medical Association of registered practitioners
- A member of the Legal Fraternity
They must be given clear instructions and allow to function without any interference. From among themselves choose a chairman and the Government can provide a secretary.
The appointment of this Task Force in the heart of the Tourist season will send a clear message that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not tolerate the crime spree against its citizens and visitors. Mr. Prime Minister this is an opportunity to mend the broken fences and regain the confidence of the people.
On another note, what has happened to the standing committees of the Parliament. Can there be a joint session of elected officials to meet to address some of the issues that are facing the country and come to a conclusion or find solutions to put the minds of the people at ease?
Mr. Prime Minister the citizens are afraid to leave their homes at nights and that should raise a “red flag” that there are fears gripping the country and people need to regain the confidence of the powers that be.
When a shopkeeper cannot open their shops because they may be robbed or targetted, the situation is getting out of control. Mr. Prime Minister and Minister of National Security you need to address the situation head-on and comfort the hearts of the people.
In closing, I hope this message does not fall on deaf ears but think it over and prove you are in control.
Sir Godfrey Gregg