by Linda Straker
- News item falsely claimed Grenada Coast Guard turned back a boat from St Vincent
- Journalists to be more responsible in use of social media and posting of information
- Persons in Petite Martinique unaware about allegation that a boat was turned away
Edvin Martin, Acting Commissioner of Police, has a described a news item which claimed the Grenada Coast Guard on Sunday turned back a boat from St Vincent bringing supplies of food and cooking gas to the people of Petite Martinique, as false.
“I want to state here that this is absolutely false. I have spent time speaking to the commanders of Carriacou and our coast guard in an effort to verify this issue over and over again. This is false and, again, I call on individuals to be a bit more responsible in how we treat social media and the posting of information,” Martin said in a virtual news conference on Monday.
“And wherever there is an issue involving the actions of the RGPF, rumour or otherwise, I want to ask us, members of the public, and media houses, where appropriate, to please call for verification.” He disclosed that no representatives from the media house which publish the news item had called to verify or seek further information about the alleged action of the coast guard.
“This is indeed sad and I trust that it would be the last that we would have such an incident,” said Martin as he called on journalists to be a bit more responsible in the use of social media and the posting of information.
Admitting that the police force and the country are challenged with the fight against Covid-19, he said that time should not be spent responding to false, irresponsible rumours and scaremongering messages.
Petite Martinique is one of 2 Grenadines islands which fall under the governance of Grenada. It is within proximity to Union Island which falls under the governance of St Vincent and the Grenadines. There is a tradition of trading between the 2 islands, but since Grenada closed its borders in mid-March due to Covid-19 that trading ceased.
Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, expressed his concern about St Vincent’s government partially closing its border, followed by the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines advising persons from Carriacou and Petite Martinique to come and shop in Union.
A check with persons in Petite Martinique revealed they are also confused about the allegation that a boat was turned away, because they did not see nor have they become aware of any confrontation at sea between the Grenada Coast Guard and a boat from Union.
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