The group recently issued a press release which explained that the increase in gun-related incidents over the past number of months has “raised concerns of many residents calling for a return of Sandy Point to a place of total peace and community togetherness.”
“SPIRIT wishes to categorically denounce these despicable and reprehensible acts perpetuated by unscrupulous individuals, and targeted at families and businesses in this our peaceful town. We believe that families should be free to shop and not think about being held at the mercy of a masked bandit; we believe that our residents should be free to take a walk without worrying who may attack them; and we believe that families should rest peacefully without imagining being held at the end of a rifle.”
The group – whose members hail from Sandy Point and the surrounding communities – further indicated that notwithstanding that these acts of criminality are perpetrated by the misguided “very small minority”, the effect is that the processes of social and community development can be seriously retarded.
“This, we cannot afford! These criminal acts present a major risk to the safety of our residents and visitors but with a concerted and united effort, we can fight crime together.
“These recent and unusual crimes have forced us to review our 2011 programme for community development as we recognize that making greater investment of time and resources, as well as strengthening key partnerships with the police, businesses, families and the relevant government ministries will have to be among the top priorities. Our approach this year must be one that rages a focused and multi-sectoral fight against a growing crime rate. Sandy Pointers must not and will not become complacent and will not become prisoners to fear and crime.”
SPIRIT extended “a note of comfort to the families” of the shooting victims and made a call to persons who may have information pertinent to these cases to come forward and divulge the information to the authorities.
“We…extend a note of comfort to the families of these victims. Our prayers are with you in this sad and unfortunate point and we wish all the victims speedy recovery. We are pleased that fortunately, there were no fatalities from these crimes. But, living in fear is not an acceptable option! Together, we shall ensure that Sandy Point remains a safe and widely-admired town.
“We call upon anyone with information about these gun-related crimes to contact the police and assist them in their investigations. Even if you think your information may be inconsequential, we urge you to surrender any bit of information to the security forces as this may bring these criminals to justice.”