Deputy PAM Leader – Shawn K. Richards
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 07, 2010
People’s Action Movement MP Shawn K. Richards said that one of his party’s top priority, once elected, would be to review and reform the security forces in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Richards noted that certain regulations need to be urgently implemented for any government to effectively reform the security sector. He noted that the failure of the current administration to tackle crime and violence warrants such an approach. The Constituency #5 representative said that in light of the many criticism from various sectors, both locally and regionally, in the Labour Government’s continued failure to address crime, PAM is suggesting a focus on police modernization.
The Federation of St.Kitts-Nevis recorded a record breaking 27 murders in 2009 up from 23 in 2008 and 17 in 2007.
Richards questioned Labour’s commitment to national security, noting that under the leadership of Dr. Douglas, both as Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, crime has evolved over the last 14-odd years with each year breaking the numbers established by the previous year.
The PAM Parliamentarian declared it’s evident that Labour is not genuinely interested in addressing crime, noting that despite the security forces plethora of requests and expressions of concer they have been met with deaf ears. He stressed that what the public needs is a government that is strongly committed to national security, thus ensuring the people of the Federation could move and operate in a safe and secure environment.
According to Richards, the Government has used crime and violence to cast blame at the feet of the opposition, noting that it has been a “badly miscalculated approach”. He declared that despite the evident political tactics that the Labour Party has been using, he is confident that the public, in their best interest for a safe and secure society, would vote for change.
“There is a lot that needs to be done so as to correct the current challenges and difficulties being faced today. However, I strongly believe that under a PAM administration we will address these issues,” Richards said.
Further, he said that the party also shares the concerns expressed by citizens about the worsening crime situation, stressing that the Douglas regime has been impotent to addressing crime.
Regarding the issue of necessities and equipment urgently needed by the police to enhance their crime fighting efforts, Richards said the party has been urging Government generally to drastically improve those conditions being faced by the lawmen.
He noted that the party firmly believes that the Government continues to create an enabling environment for crime and violence to take place by being “ambivalent” about the real situation facing the Federation.