Charlestown, Nevis (April 05, 2007)
Premier of Nevis the Hon. Joseph Parry told Nevisians, that crime fighting should be of paramount importance to all because a stable and peaceful island was critical to the continued development of Nevis. He said the island must continue to maintain the reputation of a low crime society, if it was to continue to experience prosperity.
The Premier made the comment while he delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony of the refurbished Gingerland Police Station on Tuesday April 03, 2007.
He said crime had been the highest priority for the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and promised to fight against and reduce crime. Mr. Parry listed a number of corrective measures as he urged parents to take responsibility to help solve the problem of crime.
“I am saying to the parents that you have a responsibility to help solve the problem of crime. It makes no sense to defend your boy at the age of 8, 10 or 12 and refuse to accept that your boy is misbehaving, to refuse to give support to the headmasters and teachers then at the age of 14 and 15 you come to the police and other persons and say that you need help because you cannot control your child.
“You are being unfair to yourself, you are in a state of denial and you are being unfair to the community on whom you are placing the burden to discipline your child,” he said.He also reminded the teachers of their responsibility in the fight against crime and to understand the need to make the teaching profession a worthy once again. He said the NIA had taken steps to care for their needs and to enhance their position as teachers.
He used the moment to call on teachers to train themselves, with the assistance of government, in areas which would better position them to work with the children and to understand their varied problems.
“Making sure they [students] are disciplined, making sure they clean their classrooms, making sure they come to school neat, making sure they don’t dress in a particular way and in doing this you will have the support of the government,” he said.
Mr. Parry also took the opportunity to call on leaders in every facet of the community to assist and cited that they too had a responsibility to work with persons who showed signs of misbehaviour, to help them to understand what was right and wrong.
“In some cases sometimes they need a little job, they need a little mentoring and they need a man in their life, not to discipline in the sense of beating them but to talk and give guidance to them. We need to have the commitment of the whole community toward saving the society and so I appeal to all of us here this afternoon let us work together to save our society,” he said.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Parry also addressed the police and admonished them to guard against the abuse of power and to handle their authority well. He told them that the exercise of leadership was discretion, common sense and construction and they should do that. He also encouraged them to become a part of the community and to establish relationships which would serve them well in their crime fighting efforts.
Premier Parry also registered the NIA’s support for the police and urged them to be confidential with their work.
“We are here to support you, we are working with you but you have to learn to be confidential. We will give you the equipment you need. We are here today at the Gingerland Police Station. We are working on the Newcastle Police Stations. We have had discussions with Mr. [Dwyer] Astaphan about the police building at Bath, abut bullet proof vests and about a number of things.
“I am confident that the time is right for us to work together, even to increase the Force and that has been promised to us as well. But if you don’t take yourself seriously if you are not be prepared to be professional and to work with the people and seek their assistance no lovely building can solve the matter of crime in this country,” he said.
With regard to the building, Mr. Parry gave credit to the former NIA for the work they had done but said the Nevis Reformation Party led Administration also deserved credit for the work it had also done on the building. He also thanked the contractor Mr. Weston Jeffers for a job well done and congratulated him for the completion of the project on budget.
Other remarks came from the Hon Carlisle Powell Junior Minister in the Premier’s Ministry with responsibility for Communications Works Utilities and Posts, the Hon. Dwight Cozier Junior Minister in the Premier’s Ministry, the Hon Dwyer Astaphan Federal Minister with responsibility for National Security. Mrs Patsy Hanley Advisor in the Ministry of Health delivered welcome remarks and cut the ribbon, Mr. Ernie Stapleton Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications Works Utilities and Posts gave the project overview, Superintendent Joseph Liburd Divisional Officer served as Chairman and Sargeant Stephen Hector gave the Vote of Thanks.