NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 17, 2013) – Among other measures, Premier of Nevis and Minister responsible for Security Hon. Vance Amory in an address on June 14, 2013, said he had written to Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Security the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas and requested him to enlist the support of the regional and international communities, to provide assistance in the fight against crime. He further stated that the nature of violent crimes on Nevis appeared to be replicated in St. Kitts and appeared to form part of a pattern, which could be wider than the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Premier Amory’s address came just three days after the latest shooting death on the island, that of Spring Hill resident Denrick Hanley, on Tuesday June 11, 2013. The Premier said this clearly called for a concerted effort on the part of every person in the Nevisian community to stem “this rampant, senseless killing of young men” and the negative impact it was having and could have on the population of Nevis and the Federation as a whole.
“I am expecting to have a positive response from the Prime Minister, as this problem which we are seeking to address here in Nevis is one which is also affecting the entire Federation and requires a total Federal response,” he said.
The Premier recalled that in the aftermath of the last shooting incident in May, the Cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) met with the Commissioner C. G. Walwyn and Superintendent Hilroy Brandy of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, to discuss and put in place a strategy to deal with the spike in criminal activity.
“It appears that this series of shootings is not random but is part of a pattern based on the manner in which they occur and clearly involves a number of persons, who may have a vendetta to carry out…The Police have put in place the road blocks and increased their presence in the communities, but it is clear that persons who are perpetrating these crimes have shown scant regard for the presence of the police and we now have to consider stepping up on those patrols and taking additional measures which could help in stemming, if not, totally eradicating this violent criminal activity from our community.
“I have also discussed seriously, the mounting of surveillance systems throughout the whole of Nevis at strategic points. I have discussed the possibility of this being funded by a friendly government agency and have received a favourable response to my request. This will be mounted as soon as we have some time to order the equipment and to design the locations of where these surveillance systems will be located,” Premier Amory said.
He noted that he was giving the full commitment of his government to doing all in its power to reduce crime to a minimum to preserve the peace, stability and security of the residents of Nevis.
Mr. Amory also called on home owners to protect their properties and spoke to the steps his Administration had taken to assist in that regard.
“Individual home owners can prevent crime against their person and their property by investing in simple, inexpensive surveillance equipment and my Administration has decided that concessions on duties and so on will be granted to all persons and business owners who wish to import such equipment to protect their property from invasion. This is an effort to provide some protection to our citizens and businesses but also to assist the police to investigate and to solve the crimes, if they do occur.
“Any citizen who wishes to have this concession for use of equipment in their possession could apply to the Nevis Island Government and register their intention to the police so that this becomes part of our total strategy to seek to eradicate crime from our midst,” the Premier said.
Mr. Amory urged all citizens, in particular parents, to assist in the fight to save the island from criminal activity, by assuming a zero-tolerance to crime.
“I am asking parents especially, to keep a close watch on their children’s behaviour and to get assistance if there is any suspicion of involvement in any gangs or in any criminal activity. A simple early intervention to correct any anti-social or any deviant behaviour of our children, can help to prevent them from a life of crime and save lives…Most crimes are preventable but it requires information to be shared with the police,” the Premier said.
He encouraged anyone who had information which could help to stem the criminal activity to call one of the island’s police stations or the hotline: 1-800-8477 to report the information.
“This anti-crime policy has to be a total effort of the entire community. We cannot afford another shooting death…and we cannot afford to hear that another business place has been robbed or another home has been invaded and people’s personal jewelry, money, valuables taken because of criminal activity,” Premier Amory said.