MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Assistant Commissioner of Police Keith ‘Trinity’ Gardner says he does not believe that the island’s politicians are still giving guns to criminals, but stopped just short of blaming them for the appalling crime rate now gripping the nation.
Gardner, told a Manchester Chamber of Commerce forum at the Golf View Hotel that while politicians were accused in the past of giving guns to their supporters, “I now don’t believe, and I’m saying this honestly, that politicians are giving guns to people, there’s enough to go around, they don’t need them from politicians anymore”.
“And that makes it even more dangerous because there is absolutely no control. I remember in the 1960’s and ‘70s when certain so-called area leaders could be told to cool it, now because of financial independence and the drug trade, I hear that some people are saying to others, you cannot talk to me because you don’t buy my gun,” he said.
Gardner said politicians on both sides of the political fence have had to distance themselves from the practice, because of calls from the private sector in particular.
“People are more sophisticated and are demanding that politicians come clean, so they can’t be seen associating, but certainly in the past, accusation has been made and I believe there’s more than enough information. All you have to do is review the politician’s speeches coming down and the accusations that were made…but in the last decade or two that practice has de-escalated,” he said.
But while Gardner said he did not believe politicians were still issuing guns to criminals, he hinted at their dealings with criminal elements over the past decades. “In the 1960’s in my experience, the older men in politics were the ones carrying the guns and they never had the means of acquiring those guns