The importation of illegal firearms in the Caribbean Region was a burning issue discussed at the Regional Security System (RSS) Council of Ministers Meeting on Wednesday where Chair of the RSS Council of Ministers, Grenada Prime Minister, Dickon Mitchell described the situation as a scourge.
As the Prime Minister spoke on the issue of gun-related crime, he delivered the unfortunate news that on Tuesday night Grenada suffered a gun-related homicide with at least six shots being fired, resulting in a fatality. Mitchell said preliminary investigations suggested it was an execution-style hit and that the perpetrator may not have been originally from Grenada.
He said gun-related activity is a challenge that the region faces.
Mitchell, as Chair of the RSS Council of Ministers, noted that recently the RSS had been deployed to Saint Lucia to assist in restoring law and order and calm to a section of the country that has recently experienced a spike in gun-related criminal activity.
The prime minister stated that the Region at present is battling the scourge of firearms and ammunition importation into countries from sources outside of the Caribbean’s shores where these menacing tools are manufactured.
“The easy access to firearms in our countries is one of the greatest threats that we currently face and the various criminal activities spawned from the use of illegal firearms have far-reaching negative impacts on our people and societies.”
Mitchell noted that economic and social development is difficult to achieve where turmoil and security instability exist.
He said efforts must continue to be made so that the security environment of countries in the Region is such that it encourages investment and supports the several critical economic activities that drive development.
In addition, the Region must also play its part to strengthen border protection and reducing the demand for illegal firearms among people, particularly the young.
Mitchell stated the RSS is responding to crime beyond the traditional approach of incarceration and fines, and said the vision is to bankrupt the criminals by removing their heartbeat -money, the profit, and the assets involved in engineering or resulting from these criminal activities.
The Ministers Meeting is being held in Grenada.