“We cannot have a population afraid and fearful..”
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
May 24, 2009
Leader of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) Lindsay Grant issued a strong appeal to the government to make crime fighting a top priority. He made the call during his party’s press conference that was hosted at the Bird Rock Beach Hotel where he announced the various shadow ministries for his candidates.
He stressed that it is vital that the government treats the issue of crime as a priority noting that with the recent killing of a 26-year-old woman in her home means that no one is safe from the criminality that has plagued the society.
“She was not on the streets liming. She was not walking through an alley way. She was not standing on the road with friends. She was in the comfort of her home a place where she is expected to be safe from all the troubles that are occurring outside, but no she was not safe as in her bedroom her life was snuffed out,” Grant said.
He stressed that with the government placing priorities on other areas while what he said has been their questionable approach to crime is need for urgent concern. He stressed that with the continuous increase of crime which has already seen 12 individuals for the year being killed, it means that the Federation is faced with what Grant calls a “catastrophic” situation. He made a passionate appeal for government to sit down with his party so that a national strategic crime fighting plan can be devised. “Crime affects Labour, PAM and everyone so we cannot politicize the problem,” Grant said.
In extending condolences to the Estridge family on the loss of Orngel, Deputy Political Leader, Eugene Hamilton recalled that Omngel was a supporter of the party adding that it was a few years ago she had represented his constituency in the party’s pageant.
Grant noted that while a number of Caribbean islands are faced with crime, the situation has escalated in St. Kitts/Nevis leaving many people fearful for their lives and those of family and friends.
“We cannot have a population afraid and fearful to walk the streets or to move around because of the fear that is being driven into the population by those bent on breaking the law, let us empower the police while equipping them with added resources so as to be able to do a better job,” Grant stressed.
He lashed out at the government for what he said has been the prime minister’s disregard for the lawmen and women of the Federation who on a daily base put their lives at risk so as to protect the citizens. “There needs to be beefing up of resources while an effective plan has to be implemented if we are going to bring this dilemma under control,” he noted.
Grant also said focus needs to be placed on crime education in order to create an environment where the young and everyone are educated on the issue thus creating and increasing partners and stakeholders in working with the relevant agencies.
The PAM leader said the increase in crime and gang-related activities among the Federation’s youths is cause for concern and campaigns that support anti gang and crime issues adding that the time to reclaim our youths are now as they (youths) are rapidly slipping away from society.