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Photos of children with gun posted on Facebook

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Young children pose with a gun at a location in Laventille. The photographs have been circulating on Facebook.

Members of the public have expressed outrage as photos of several young children holding a gun were posted on a social network.

The three photos showed the children, who appeared under the age of seven holding what looks like a 9mm pistol.

Several users of the site said they were angered at the post: “An kams say crime down, lil children holding guns” She shoulda turn around and shot they a**” ,” D wild wild west,” “Speechless” and “How sad and disgusting!!”

However, another user disagreed with their comments: “It’s not a matter of skin, it’s a matter of self preservation from a young age. #Whovexloss.”

In a telephone interview, Assistant Police Commissioner Carlton Alleyne said the photographs have been circulating for sometime and those at the source continued to be under investigations. 

Alleyne said one person who posted the photos was killed in Central and was from a gang in Laventille.

“Sometimes these people move about. If they put up themselves we can track them and hold them. Why don’t they put up photos of themselves instead of the children?” he asked.

When questioned about the last comment about self-preservation he said: “Having a firearm? There is a process to having a firearm. 

“The only way to have a firearm is the legal way. That is if the person is given the firearm by the commissioner who gives you through the execution of duty and those who are precepted like a security officer.”

Alleyne said the police were investigating the circumstances of the photos.

“It (the photos or others) could be used with intelligence with the police,” he added.

He said in another matter recently the police conducted an investigation and it turned out that a man who was posing in a photo with a gun was held with the same weapon.

Public education and communications manager of the Children’s Authority Cheryl Moses said she had seen the photos which were circulated and sent a release on it when the authority was not yet operational.

Gregory Sloane-Seales, programme co-ordinator of the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen Security Programme said: “What are they really promoting? We don’t have to hunt food for survival. We need to reverse the trend of gun violence.”

Seales said over 75 per cent of homicides were gun-related because of access to the weapons.

“We should be teaching young children how to resolve issues in a non-threatening manner,” he added. 

Seales said his organisation was trying to transform the behaviour patterns and deal with conflicts with families and communities in a peaceful manner. 

“Giving children that sort of thing (weapons), we as a society should be opposed to that if we want to promote a peaceful co-existence,” he said.