Statement by the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA) on the Upsurge in Crime

The St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA) continues to observe with discontent, the rising incidence of crime within our nation, particularly homicides, violence within educational institutions and other major violent crimes. SKNYPA tenders its sympathies to the families impacted by the recent troubling events. We pray that God brings them comfort and continues to shed His grace on the nation. These unfortunate incidents cause only to erode the fabric of our society, destroying families and communities. Moreover, the sense of unease created when the streets of neighbourhoods that ought only to be filled with love are replaced by fear and insecurity, is one that negatively impacts the growth of our young people.

As a people, we have strayed from the morals that for well over four decades have knitted a community-oriented society with respect for each other and the rule of law. Unfortunately, elements within the nation choose to resolve violence and infractions through mediums that cause further anguish, division and hurt. When our people take arms against each other, the result is the loss of young lives, national human resources and subsequently the nation as we know it.

Combatting what the Caribbean Community Heads of Government have declared a ‘public health emergency,’ requires an approach absent of resentment, bitterness, ignorance and the all too familiar tribal partisanship. The impact of crime is one that transcends political parties and must be approached by society as a holistic entity. The measures taken must satisfy the short term need to restore order and quell public fear. Simultaneously, measures in the long run must identify, combat and attack crime’s root causes, an approach which must involve a desire by everyone to see beyond the past, to see beyond politics and to put ‘Country Above Self.’

The SKNYPA implores all to embrace a society of compassion, peace and safety. Collectively, we must do our part to support the enforcement of the law, while also providing communities conducive for the development of well-rounded peaceable young leaders. The young people of our nation are owed a nation where tranquillity abounds and justice prevails. In that vein, we implore the Government to devise initiatives that will restore order while laying the foundation for future intervention.

We share expressed sentiments that as Civil Society, we must take our stand for peace, reclaiming Our Land of Beauty.

Yours in Youth Development,

The St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association

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