The Police Commissioner is urging them to play their part in curbing gun violence by disciplining and seeking help for their wayward members. PC Pelius says families shouldn’t awaken to the threat of gun violence only when it directly affects them.
“It's only when you have lost a family member that you realise how much effort you must put into fighting the scourge of illegal trafficking of illegal firearms and ammunition,” she said. The trafficking of illegal arms and ammunition in the region has been a cause for concern for all governments.
In 2023, the US Department of Homeland Security aided Caribbean governments with the seizure of 344 firearms, 224,438 rounds of ammunition and $391,132.00 in US currency. The Police Commissioner made her appeal during a Caribbean Firearms Roadmap Meeting. She said the effects of gun warfare have left families broken.
“You realize how much in the region we are hurting people. If 5000 or 3000 people are close to one person who has lost their life from the use of illegal firearms, then you realize in the region and beyond how much this world is in pain,” she said.
This high-level two-day meeting aimed to foster collaboration among Caribbean nations to combat the illegal trade of firearms. PC Pelius added that the ultimate goal is to make the region a safer place.
“It's not just about apprehending criminals; it's about creating an environment where individuals are less likely to turn to violence in the first place.”
The Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, designed to be a comprehensive strategy, encompasses legislative reforms, technological advancements in law enforcement, and community engagement programs. The meeting concluded with a commitment from participating nations to implement the outlined measures and to reconvene periodically to assess progress.