September 20, 2020

Guns remain on the streets. Amnesty extended

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Sadly it comes as no surprise that the RCIPS latest amnesty was in the words of Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden, “disappointing”. The no questions asked gun amnesty has now been extended for another 31 days and two local businesses have partnered with the RCIPS to have an “Operations Cash ‘n’ Guns’ initiative. As DS Bodden has said, “We will do whatever we can to persuade people to hand in their guns”. I still have to question why we need to have a set period for an amnesty? Why not make it yearly? Why not extend it indefinitely?

Guns remain on the streets and it seems to me those numbers are growing. Any small time piece of low life seems to have access to a gun. Where are they getting them? In such a small community someone knows? In the UK, there was always the ‘copper’s nark’ – someone who informed on the criminals for a ‘price’. Here people are frightened. The RCIPS have lost the trust of the people and that is going to be a very hard road to mend. The recent revelation of a missing gun(s) and still no word about what is happening about it –“ongoing enquiries” is the official stance – and the spate of unsolved shootings, even with big reward incentives for information, has not increased our confidence. Even when the police make arrests and it goes to trial the level of wins is one sided – the wrong way!

Until the general public feels safe, and the police are showing signs they are winning this battle, sadly it is unlikely those ‘law abiding’ citizens who are illegally in possession of a gun will be handing it in over the next month. A year down the road, when with all the initiatives being put in place start reaping rewards, then the amnesty might produce the results the RCIPS are hoping for.

Not for the last time, I will make this appeal. We all are in this fight together and, if you know something, don’t sit back and do nothing. Become a Judith.

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