Another Caribbean Nation weighs in with unbeatable Crime Stats
As T&T attempts to get a larger market share of the regional tourism industry to help bolster foreign exchange earnings, it appears that more and more regional destinations are making known their Crime Statistics. Tourists are now becoming more aware that in an unfamiliar environment, they are more vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime. While getting robbed can definitely ruin a vacation, consideration of the murder rate is the ultimate deal-breaker.
According to the Daily Observer out of Antigua, on January 31, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and Nevis had issued a passionate call for the end what he calls the senseless killings taking place in the country. Harris, who is also National Security Minister, made the plea in the wake of the recent fatal shooting two young men from his constituency and the upsurge in gun violence that has resulted in at least two other deaths for the month of January 2016. St Kitts has a population of just 45,000. Hence 4 murders is one month is indeed cause for alarm and concern.
Harris stated to ta group of constituents, “We must bring a message of rebuilding, of renewal from our own households—so we have illegal weapons, we have to ensure that we call in the police to make sure that that situation is cleaned up,” He went on to add, “that (if) we have persons who we know are involved in drugs—wherever there are drugs, guns are not far behind—we have to ensure that we encourage these people to give up that life for one which is more law-abiding.”
He further indicated that his Government is prepared to provide special support to those who are involved in drugs and guns and who are determined to make a turnaround so that they can become more law-abiding citizens. He also urged the community to share information about what they know of criminal activities to the relevant and confidential authorities.
“The police are charged with protecting us and we have to ensure that we cooperate with them…we can also find a friend, a pastor, parliamentary representative, somebody who we could tell,” he said and continued. “We have to begin to get our communities cleaned up because innocent lives are being lost that way and as people come into the communities to take revenge, it is quite probable that an innocent person’s life would be lost, so all of us can do something, can share some information, can insist among our family members and friends by giving them strong warning,” the Prime Minister said while admonishing those involved in gangs to withdraw from them. He then concluded, “It is destroying families, it is destroying communities. Eventually, if we don’t curb it, it will destroy our country and so we have to nip it in the bud,” he said, while encouraging young persons to be exposed to a life of prayer and godliness.
In response to the Prime Minister’s plea, on March 2, Commissioner of Police(Ag) Mr. Ian M. Queeley announced on (March 01) that February 2016 was a zero homicide month.
Queeley stated, “February was a month free of homicides, as a matter of fact it is approximately eighteen (18) months since we have not had a month without a homicide. This I believe was in large measure due to a more strategic approach in our operations,” The Commissioner, “January was a disturbing month for the federation and our team at the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force implemented measures in partnership with the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department, to address the concern and we embarked on an operation to increase law enforcement presence in our communities, in particular those areas we identified as ‘hot spots’.”
“Increased foot patrols, targeted stop and searches, strategic Vehicle Check Points (VCPs) and mobile police presence throughout our islands was the order for February. Today we are encouraged by the results. That increased presence in part have kept those bent on engaging in violent criminal activity at bay,” said Commissioner Queeley.
The Commissioner said, “today’s good news is also a testament to the dedication and commitment of the men and women who serve in the Police Service. During the last few weeks, they have sacrificed much and so have their families and other special persons in their lives. Today I salute them for a job well done, and I say thank you and encourage continued support from the families.” Commissioner Queeley further said, “it was echoed to many during our presence in the communities, that we are on the right path and keep up the pressure.”
Commissioner Queeley said, “Ensuring citizen safety is paramount for the Police Service.. we will do our part. Citizens have a part to play as well, and to ensure continued success in reducing crime and the fear of crime in our communities, citizens and residents I implore you to get involved.”