NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – “St. Kitts and Nevis is one country, and crime and insecurity in any part of that country is crime and insecurity in the whole of that country.”
This was the sentiment expressed by Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, in response to the recent spate of gun-related homicides on St. Kitts.
“The uptick of homicides in St. Kitts is of grave concern to the Nevis Island Administration. We recognize, for example, that based on how close we are to each other and based on the ease of transportation…we recognize that crime can occur in Basseterre and in under an hour those individuals could be in Nevis and vice versa.
“So yes we are concerned. We shall be continuing our engagements with the police on Nevis to seek to have them on alert because we are also being advised that one of the situations sometimes is that those involved in criminal activities, particularly violent crime, on St. Kitts tend to come to Nevis to ‘cool out’, and so we are concerned about that ‘heat’ being brought with them…that is why we have always advocated for a holistic approach in relation to crime-fighting.”
The Premier pledged the support and commitment of the NIA to the Federal Government, which is charged with national security and crime prevention.
He admonished persons on Nevis not to adopt a complacent attitude in regard to the incidents on St. Kitts.
“Whatever support we can give, because it has to be all of us involved. I want to warn Nevisians not to sit back and say another one is gone in St. Kitts because crime knows no border, it knows no boundary, it knows no colour, no race, no class, no sex, no creed. Crime is a crime, and bullets can’t see and you never know where you might be when these criminals decide to act out against each other.”
He extended sympathy to those who lost loved ones in the recent gunplay and encouraged the populace to do the right thing and assist law enforcement in their crime-fighting efforts. He also called on the Police High Command and the rank and file to do all they can to prevent, and where they cannot prevent, to detect and bring the criminals to justice.
Premier Brantley advised young persons especially to avoid a life of crime as it would only lead to prison or a cemetery. Against that backdrop, he urged parents, romantic partners and relatives of those involved in criminal activity not to aid and abet them, but instead implore them to become productive members of society.
The Premier cautioned that all members of society, including civic and religious leaders, to take an active role in being part of the solution. He stressed the deleterious effect crime has on any economy.
“At the end of the day, all it does is bring grief and despair to families and loved ones, and it brings terror to the wider community…Nothing can ‘mash up’ a country as quickly as crime, because once people feel unsafe your tourism goes to naught, and your businesses go to naught because people feel they have to close early.
“And so I’m encouraging all of society including those elements who are involved in this activity to cease and desist…that is not the country that we want, and so we need now to take stock now before this unruly horse starts up again…we need to all in one voice to say ‘No. Enough.’ This is not what we want for ourselves.”