St. Kitts – Nevis Still Fighting Crime Surge

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 22, 2010 (SKNIS)

The establishment of a Homicide Unit within the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the formation of an Inter Ministerial Committee to neutralize and reverse the ills that promote antisocial behaviour, will address factors of crime in the short and medium term.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Honourable Sam Condor, and Acting Commissioner of Police, Stafford Liburd, addressed the developments on this week’s edition of SKNIS’ radio magazine Perspectives.

“We believe that security is not just for the Ministry of National Security. There are health issues, education issues, family issues and we believe that in addressing this matter, we have to look at it in a holistic way,” said Minister Condor. “It is not just a matter of building police stations, and providing bullet proof vests and training for the police. We have to get in the minds and the attitude and the behaviour of our people. This [goes back] to their personal development and upbringing and training.”

The partnership in this committee reflects this thought. It is to be comprised by officials from the Ministries of Education, Youth Empowerment, Justice and Legal Affairs and Community Development.

The Deputy Prime Minister explained that the initiative and other crime strategies will be supported by the 9th European Development Fund and will be rolled out later this year when funds become available.

Meanwhile, Acting Commissioner of Police Liburd told SKNIS that the public had been more cooperative with the law enforcement agency. He noted that the record number of guns removed from the streets, which now stands at 32, is a direct result of proactive aggressive police tactics, as well as stepped up effective intelligence gathering measures.

As for homicides, which are typically gang related, Mr. Liburd explained that a specialized unit in the force will soon be operational to carry out investigations and tackle the issue head on.

“The development of this unit will be supported by (advanced) resources,” he stressed. “We are looking locally for persons with the knowledge to give support into this unit in a very tangible way and so more will be said as we move forward.”

The police official declined further comment citing the need for confidentiality but wanted to assure the public that the formation of the squad would be operational in just a few weeks time.

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