The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has reported that the mission set out by that department as it relates to criminal related activities over the just concluded yuletide season was accomplished.
Addressing members of the media during a media briefing at Police Headquarters on Wednesday, a team of high level police officers headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Jesmon Prince said that while there were minimal incidences reported, overall, there was a significant reduction in criminal related activities as compared to the same period in 2018.
Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the RGPF Superintendent Earl Dumber was among officers present and reported that while there was one reported homicide and two maiming during that period, it was safe to say the 2019 season was relatively safe and quiet.
According to Dumber there were six reported cases of grievous harm, two reports of attempted non-capital murder, three reports of robberies in addition to house breaking and stealing.
While the briefing attempted to zero in on the Yuletide Season, Dumber said looking back at 2019 the police recorded an overall reduction in criminal activities and this he said is positive news for Grenada.
Presenting data to support his claim, the head of CID said 2019 saw a 9% reduction in harm offenses, 17% in sex related offenses, 49% in document and white collar crimes, 8% in drug-related offenses, 50% in the uses of dangerous weapon and 2% in property crime, he noted that while the figure may appear small in some areas, what is important he said is that the needle is pointing in the right direction.
Despite these data however, Dumber reported that there was an increase in the number of homicide cases from 13 in 2018 to 16 in 2019 and this he noted is cause for concern.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Superintendent Randy Connaught, Head of the Traffic Department of the RGPF. According to him while the department was forced to make some major adjustment to their initial operation due to the collapse of some of the main roads leading into and out of the city, the operation during the Yuletide season was a major success.
Connaught said there were some 465 vehicular accidents reported over the Yuletide season most of them he said were minor, however there were ten serious accidents. His department he said issued 139 tickets for speeding, 187 persons were charged for using their hand held devices while driving, only 102 vehicles were clamped during that period, 24 vehicles was impounded for having expired insurance certificates and 46 people charge for not having the appropriate driver’s license.
Connaught used the opportunity to thank all who assisted in ensuring that the nation’s roads were safe during the period and reminded the general public that the much talked about breathalyzer is now fully deployed and would be part of the daily kit of officers attached to the Traffic Department going forward.
Also present during Wednesday’s briefing was Inspector John St Paul, second in command of the Fire Department of the RGPF and like other speakers his department also recorded a relatively quiet Yuletide season. According to St Paul there were some 32 emergency calls and and 14 non-emergency calls. St Paul said there were nine dwelling house fires, one business place fire, seven rubbish fires, three electrical fires, one bush fire and one vehicular fire.
Inspector St Paul noted that in addition to the many responses, the department had three standby calls at the Maurice Bishop International Airport, alarm activations and one accident. He added that while the season was relatively calm there was some concern with the number of house fires. According to him there were nine reported house fires as opposed to three over the same period in 2018 a major concern he said, to the RGPF.
Meanwhile, looking back at 2019, St Paul attributed the low incident rate to the level of work done by his department in fire prevention strategies and fire safety, inspection of business houses and use of fire extinguishers including the dos and don’ts about fire usage.
St Paul said, taking into consideration that a number of those fires are caused due to negligence on the part of senior occupants of the home, his department would be embarking on a more rigorous approach in dealing with such individuals moving forward as well as fostering an environment where people can feel safe in their homes and surroundings,
Meanwhile, a number of offensive weapon were confiscated during the Yuletide season some of which were displayed to the media.