After what appeared to be a promising start to the year, this last week in a particular, has been a challenge for all of us following the reported sixth (6th) homicide. As a result of this, the Police High command have convened a strategic meeting in order to explore all options available to combat and reduce this abhorrent criminal activity.
As a consequence of this meeting, with immediate effect, all leave for Police Officers has been cancelled, with those on leave having been recalled for duty. This action was required in order to deploy the optimum number of police officers out on the streets.
The public will see 24 hour vehicular patrols on our nation’s roads. The public can expect an increase in personal and vehicle stop and searches as part of this effort. Your support and understanding is appreciated, and we regret any inconveniences these may cause.
We will have full deployment of the Mobile Command Unit and other units in areas identified as “hot spots” and of particular concern.
In addition, Officers assigned to the various stations across the Federation will walk the beat, they will be out and about in the communities they serve. Their presence will be felt. In order to do this, we have suspended training at the Police Training Centre, and the recruits will be integrated into the station staff in administrative support roles, to allow for the full deployment of the Officers.
Operational support has been sought and commitments received from our Law Enforcement partners in Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department and the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force. The Defence Force will increase its mobilisation efforts and will assist with increased patrols and other support both in St. Kitts and Nevis. We have agreed to the combined utilization of resources (to include canine teams and other equipment) in order to support these initiatives.
The rationale for this immediate re-deployment of resources is to increase police presence in order to deter this type of criminal behaviour and to reassure the public by having an increased police visible presence in our communities.
However, our best efforts with more Officers on the beat, in Basseterre, Charlestown, in our villages and our communities will only yield so much. One critical element to the success of the Police Service in reducing crime, is the support and the assistance of you the citizens and residents of our Federation.
We remind the public that aiding and abetting criminals and criminal activity is a crime. Persons found to be assisting these individuals will be dealt with severely as provided for under the laws.
We therefore appeal to you as we have done in the past, to share any information you may have with regards to crime and criminal activity with the Police. You can do so by sharing the information with someone such as a pastor, a trustworthy friend or by calling any Police Station in the Federation or Crime Stoppers, the anonymous hotline at 1-800-8477(TIPS).
As we move forward, let us embrace our sense of civic responsibility, partner with us and let us reduce this behaviour and ensure Citizen Safety. The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force will be steadfast in eradicating this crime trend within our Federation and only with your help can we make our nation safer.
May God continue to bless our Officers and our nation. As we work together to tackle crime and make St Kitts and Nevis a place to be proud of.