As Christians observed the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ over the long Easter Weekend, members in the community of Marchand experienced their own scrape with death. The first victims were a 47-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman who sustained gunshot wounds on Saturday, April 20th at approximately 11 pm. This incident occurred in Trou Rouge, Marchand. The injuries were fortunately non-fatal. No arrests have been made in connection to this incident, but a police investigation into the matter is ongoing.
The second incident involved the shooting of a 33-year-old man who was found along the main road in Marchand on Monday, April 22nd at approximately 11:30 pm. Officers attached to the Marchand Police Station responded to a report of this incident at about 11:30 pm. The victim, who sustained a gunshot wound to his abdominal region, was transported to a medical facility for treatment. The victim is reported to be in a stable condition. No one was arrested in relation to this incident. Police are currently investigating.
The shooting incidents over the Easter weekend were preceded by the shooting death of 33-year-old Chad Ramsey which occurred on Broglie-St on April 18th. Chad Ramsey, also a resident of Marchand, was the island’s ninth homicide victim.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet during last week’s Budget presentation shared his government’s intent to make Citizen Safety an area earmarked for urgent action as part of the 2019/2020 Medium-Term Development Plan. The goal in the Citizen Security arena is to achieve a 45% reduction of serious crime by 2020 and a 30% reduction of repeat offenders by that same year.
The prime minister in the annual Budget speech underscored the importance of citizens feeling safe in their homes, and going about their daily business. He also pointed out that rising crime figures could undermine the island’s tourism industry with visitors simply choosing other destinations where they feel safe.
“Crime prevention and detection will benefit from a stronger police presence in ‘hotspot’ areas,” the prime minister said. “We will be increasing foot and mobile patrols on the frontline where they are needed most.”
He added that greater surveillance capabilities are now available to the police, and that ‘greater focus will be placed on community policing to strengthen community involvement in fighting crime.’