Basseterre, Saint Kitts – Nevis
April 23, 2008 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has expressed outrage at the continued loss of life as a result of criminal activity and issued a call to the entire community to assist the law enforcement agencies in fighting crime.
Expressing sympathy to the families of the persons who died recently as a result of criminal activity, Prime Minister Douglas vowed that the law enforcement agencies will continue to do whatever is possible to reduce and eliminate incidents.
“I personally today join with my fellow citizens, my Cabinet Colleagues and the Law Enforcement Agencies and express outrage at the continued loss of life through criminal activity,” Prime Minister Douglas said at his monthly Press Conference on Tuesday.
He said that the government continues in its quest to reduce the incidents of criminal activity in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The law enforcement agencies will continue their stop and search of cars and individuals on the streets; execute search warrants on homes and have been successful in taking a number of weapons ““ guns, ammunition, knives and other dangerous objects off the streets. The agencies have also uprooted marijuana plants and confiscated and seized marijuana and crack cocaine. Several criminal charges have been brought against these individuals and successfully prosecuted in the courts,” said Dr. Douglas.
He noted that his Government recently went to the National Assembly to provide legislative support for imposing longer prison sentences for persons found guilty and convicted of attempted murder, shooting or wounding and inflicting bodily harm on other persons.
“We increased from 10 years to 25 years, the sentence which may be imposed on any person who is convicted of attempted murder by administering any poison or other destructive methods or by any means whatsoever wounding or causing bodily harm with intent to commit murder.
We increased from 10 years to 20 years, the sentence which may be imposed on any person convicted of shooting or attempting to shoot or wounding with intent to maim, disfigure or disable any person or to do some other grievous bodily harm to any person or with intent to prevent the lawful apprehension or detain of any person and increased from two to seven years the sentence for any person convicted of inflicting bodily harm with or without a weapon,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that the government and the law enforcement agencies cannot do it alone. “We need the parents, guardians, the grandparents, family members, friends and neighbours, the churches and non-governmental agencies to help in this endeavour,” appealed Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that while similar occurrences are taking place in other Caribbean islands and countries further afield, “we have to find ways of confronting this problem which is impacting our daily lives, socially, economically, religiously and financially.”