COP Queeley Responds to Chamber’s Concerns about Crime

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 02, 2016 (SKNIS): Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr. Ian Queeley has responded to a letter written to him by the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC), whom he refers to as “a valued partner and will endeavour to keep it that way” while saying that he welcomes an audience with the organization at the earliest convenience.

In its letter dated May 25, 2016, the CIC said it was concerned that “the expected outcome from the implementation of the (Police) Strategic Plan has not materialized.”

“Therefore, it is with great concern that we write to you on the matter of business security, citizen security and preservation of our national image,” the CIC letter stated.

“We submit that what has been tried so far, is not providing confidence that the situation is under control. Therefore, we believe it is time for a new approach and would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the Police High Command and figure out the necessary steps to effect the required change,” the CIC letter further indicated.

However, in his response letter to the CIC dated May 31, 2016, Commissioner Queeley said while he “appreciates the Chamber’s continued interest in the state of affairs of the Federation” and notes its concerns, “a Strategic Plan needs time to effect any real change and I do not believe anyone in this Federation can truly say that they have not seen a difference in the operation of the Police.”

Commissioner Queeley said that the Police has been doing more in its efforts to stem crime in the Federation.

“We have restricted rest days to bring back officers on the street for increased visibility; we have increased targeted operations on known criminal elements within the society and more persons are being held accountable for the crimes committed. Additionally, we have also sought to engage the at-risk youths and it is only two days ago that we launched a Community Policing Initiative called “MAY” (Mentoring Aspiring Youths) in the Cayon community and we have also introduced school liaison officers in all the schools, just to name a few,” he said.

The Commissioner said that the Government has committed to support all the initiatives put forward in the Plan from “the prevention straight through to rehabilitation.”

“In essence, we are attempting to address the issues that lead to crime and criminal activities holistically commencing in early stages. So, to say that what have been tried so far is not providing confidence is again unfair, as it is too early to be assessed.”

Commissioner Queeley said that crime-fighting requires a holistic approach and is not the sole responsibility of the Police, while highlighting that dysfunctional parents/families are one of the main causes of anti-social behaviour in our society.

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