Nevis Business Owners At Meeting About Crime
July 25, 2008
In a continued effort to combat crime on the island, Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry hosted a panel discussion with members of the private sector at the conference room of the Nevis Credit Union at Chapel Street in Charlestown on Thursday, July 24th 2008.
The panellists included Deputy Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Hensley Daniel, Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Ashley Farrell, Legal Advisor, Hon. Patrice Nisbett and Superintendent of Police in Nevis, Mr. Samuel Seabrookes.
In his opening remarks, Premier Parry noted how pleased he was to see so many business owners responding to the call to put an end to the spate of criminal activity in Nevis. He said, “We do not want business people to be afraid or live in continuous fear of these criminals; we want them to be able to stand up and continue to run their business as usual. We can not in any way make those individuals committing the crimes feel like they have won!”
During the meeting, Mr. Parry articulated several ways in which he thought the business community could assist in stemming the crime wave on the island. Among these was the idea of having members adopt a school, a community or a child; and create avenues whereby our young people could engage themselves positively and productively. He reminded the audience that while the government is committed to doing its part, the rest of the society must also play an active role if we are to realize a significant reduction and possible eradication of serious criminal activity on the island.
In addition, the Premier indicated that he is actively looking into a number of different ways to reduce crime, such as: seeking assistance from overseas, finding male mentors for young people (especially the boys) and placing data boxes at the police stations for tips/information on crime. Increasing the manpower of the police force and having a presence of army soldiers on Nevis are also measures he said are being seriously considered. Premier Parry noted that he would be meeting in about a month to continue dialogue with the business owners, the Police and his government.
During the forum, Supt. Seabrookes took the opportunity to offer some guidelines for the upcoming Culturama season. He said he will ensure that a strong police presence will be available so that people can feel safe and hopefully deter any criminal activity from taking place.
Supt. Seabrookes also made it known that it is very important that business persons invest in surveillance equipment and come forth to give accurate information that might assist the police.
“I am going to be honest with you; in some cases an individual with evidence might have to go to court to witness or bring forth important information. I do understand how uncomfortable that can be, but in some situations it can not be helped, if we want the criminals off the streets,” said Supt. Seabrookes.
After Supt. Seabrookes presentation, Premier Parry opened the floor for persons to give their opinions and/or observations on the crime situation on Nevis. Numerous businesspersons in attendance were able to express their feelings on the relationship between the police and the rest of the community. Most agreed that when they call the police they either do not come or when they do come they are extremely late and they have no sympathy for the situation. The group was assured by Supt. Seabrookes that this practice will not continue in the future.
The meeting ended on a high note as the participants held hands and were led into prayer by Mr. Joseph Morton. The general consensus was that it was an excellent effort by the Premier to hold open and frank discussions with the private sector on Nevis.