Gang Violence Plagues St. Kitts – Nevis Carnival Season

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St. Kitts – Nevis PM Urges Control and Restraint

Gang violence continues to be a major challenge in St. Kitts and Nevis, but Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says key local, regional, and international alliances have been forged to sharpen his government’s effectiveness in battling this scourge.

He said Tuesday that while political divisiveness is tearing countries apart beyond the shores of the nation, the co-operation between his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party-led Federal Government and the Nevis Reformation Party-led Nevis Island Administration has never been greater.

Appearing on his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister,” Dr. Douglas noted he has spoken about gang crime and violence on the programme many times.

“Members of the public have talked about it on this programme and elsewhere, and all of us really do want St. Kitts and Nevis to break away from the gang violence that has gripped so many other countries.  But I cannot stress enough how important it is going to be for the public to start looking, not just at the gang members but at the general behavior in our society ““ because that is where the problem starts…that is where the unraveling starts”…and then the small negatives that we ignore become really huge after a while…And then, we look up one day, and find out that we have young people who are moving in all the wrong directions,” he said.

As the Federation begins Carnival celebrations which will last until early January, Prime Minister Douglas warned about excessive drinking and revelry.

“Too many of our men, for example, feel that they have to drink to excess.  They feel they have to drink and drink until they are drunk.  Maybe they think it makes them more macho.  I don’t know.  But I am appealing to everyone to slow it down, to cool it, because this leads to all kinds of other problems.  People start losing their tempers”.it is easier to slip under the big trucks”.money that is supposed to go to food, or maybe even a little gift, for the children goes to drunkenness,” warned the Prime Minister, who called on the society to turn a new page.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a drink or two.  But if we’re serious about stopping the out-of-control behaviour of the gangs, everybody else is going to have to stop all of the other kinds of out-of-control behaviours and habits, because if we do not, we will end up with an out-of-control culture,” he stressed.

He called for Christmas 2008 to mark a new beginning for St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We need a self-control culture.  We need self-respect culture.  All of us.  And this, I think, with the police and the courts doing their part to deal with existing gang members, will result in other young people ““ not those already in gangs, but those who are still coming up ““ being shaped by this more self-respecting, self-controlling culture that all of us have to build together,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He used the occasion to appeal to women to be moderate in their dancing in the streets.

“Nobody loves to see our people happy and having a good time more than me.  I love to see them celebrating”.dancing”..jumping up”.jamming.  But, I want the women of St. Kitts and Nevis to think and know that they are somebody!  I want the women of St. Kitts and Nevis to have this attitude that there are some things that nobody will ever see them do in public.  As far as certain behaviours are concerned, it is important for our women ““ and our young girls ““ to know the words “˜Not me!’ Most importantly, I want our men to see our women as special ““ as objects of real love and regard,” he said.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister urged his fellow country men and women to forgive those who have angered them during the year.

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