Statement by COP James Sutton

Citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, good day to you all.

I make this address today to update the Federation on matters germane to the law enforcement efforts of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force to date. Since being appointed to the position of Commissioner of Police in February of this year, my High Command and I have executed a number of operations and operational changes throughout the Police Force. With this presentation, I aim to provide the general public with some additional insight into our performance thus far for the year 2023.

Though we are only in the second quarter of the year, it has been an eventful five-months for the Police Force, to say the least. In an effort to reduce the incidences of criminal activity in the Federation, we saw it prudent to formulate “Operation Reassurance” and launch it on April 4th. The following statistics are testimony to the operation’s successes we have since then recorded:

Search warrants executed: 42 – Mobile patrols: 143
Foot patrols: 143
Number of arrests: 14
Number of firearms recovered: 6 – Number of tickets issued: 93
Number of vehicles searched: 362 – Gang engagements: 7
Our Police officers continue to work assiduously to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and residents are maintained. Their work in this regard has borne fruit to the tune of four of the five robberies committed in the month of April having already been solved. Such was achieved through the diligent work and dogged determination of our officers in the pursuit of justice. Their perseverance and stellar work are worthy of high praise. Indeed, even after “Operation Reassurance” would have ended, the momentum and our thrust to curb crime and violence in St. Kitts and Nevis will be maintained.

Our community policing model has recently undergone some administrative changes. These adjustments are aimed at increasing the overall impact and efficacy of both the model and our Community Policing Team. One such administrative change was the assignment of Sgt. Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Sampson as the leader of the Community Policing Team with specific responsibility for the Explorer’s Clubs on St. Kitts. These Clubs have been a part of our national community policing model since 2017. Their presence has been welcome in the various communities and the positive impact on our youth cannot be downplayed or ignored. They continue to provide a safe space for our children to learn, grow, and socialise while building a relationship of trust and transparency with law enforcement.

Through the Explorer’s Clubs, many of our children have learnt numerous skills and games, respect, camaraderie, and the value of honesty. I, therefore, wish to thank and highly commend former Community Policing Team leader, Insp. Rosemarie Isles-Williams, for her stellar work in the development and continuity of the Explorer’s Clubs. Insp. Isles-Williams has been instrumental in their popularisation in the communities throughout the country. Her sterling contribution to the protection, education, and empowerment of our youth in this regard cannot go unrecognised.

As law enforcement officers, we continue to collectively and individually encourage our people to refrain from resorting to violence as a way to resolve conflict. It does not work – the evidence and the statistics are there to prove that. In addition to violence creating more problems that it has ever solved, far too many of our people are being cut down in their prime. St. Kitts and Nevis is a small island developing state; our most valuable resource is our people, our human capital. Nothing happens for our people without our people. To this end, it behoves us to practice restraint in times of tension or strife, and seek a resolution that all parties can live to see.

Each homicide we are called to investigate pains us deeply. As Police, we have a heavy psychological load to bear that only gets even heavier each time we are called to the scene of another homicide. I implore us all to realise that the negative impact of violence reaches much further than the deceased. We owe it to best chance at a healthy, happy life. That is our responsibility to ourselves, to our communities, and to our country.

As I close, I wish to reassure the general public that the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force will neither falter nor waver in its commitment to the people. We officers have sworn to protect one and all; to uphold the law without fear or favour; and to relentlessly pursue justice for those who have been victims of any crime. To this end, I remind one and all that it is in our best
interest to say something if we see something. Laws are only as effective as the people who help to uphold them. Our success as officers of the law depends heavily on those whom the laws protect. Our duties are clearly defined, but our job’s success is not guaranteed without the public’s cooperation.

Thank you for your kind attention. Good day.

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