Team Unity Press Release
Last evening, sadly, our Nation recorded it fifth murder in five weeks. Reports are that another individual was also badly wounded. Team UNITY would like to express profound sympathies to the families in particular the family of the deceased Kevin “Judgement” Francis. At this rate we are looking to exceed record level of homicides in our Federation. It would seem that the Douglas Administration is unwilling or unable to address the state of criminality that is running rampant. While we never wish to politicize crime, it cannot be denied that under the current Douglas regime, crime – especially gun and violent crime – has risen to unprecedented and hitherto unthinkable heights. There seems to be no end in sight.
It is no secret that in a matter of days the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will go to the polls to elect a government to pilot the ship of state for the next five years. Team UNITY is cognizant of the fact that there can be no real progress, be it economic, social or otherwise without citizens, visitors and investor feeling secure as the go about their individual and collective business within St. Kitts and Nevis. While the failing Douglas Administration remains impotent on the issue, Team Unity would like to share some of it’s intended policies for addressing crime, as a Government.
The reality is that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis are being held hostage by the criminal elements within our society. Criminals have violated the sanctity of our homes and businesses, and safety and security are being eroded. Consequently, our people are living in fear. Our young men are being gunned down at a rate of one per week. Visitors are at times assaulted, and St. Kitts and Nevis is getting “bad press” the world over. Criminal activities are not good for business! A significant amount of our health resources are being utilized to offset the cost of medical care for victims.
Further, crime and violence are deterrents to visitors to our shores. Our people should never have to live in fear. Crimes are being perpetuated with impunity and the Douglas Regime appears to be turning a blind eye or is otherwise impotent! A TEAM UNITY GOVERNMENT shall not stand by and allow any further deterioration in the safety and security of our beloved homeland.
In keeping with this a TEAM UNITY GOVERNMENT will:
a. Institute regular meetings with the Police high command and foster meaningful support for shared goals and strategy.
b. Invest in law enforcement by providing better equipment, facilities, appropriate transportation and requisite training.
c. Invest in greater use of technology and provide appropriate incentives to the private sector for the acquisition of appropriate technology to facilitate a public/private sector partnership to fight crime and violence.
d. Work to de-politicize the Police Force and ensure that promotions are based on merit.
e. Institute insurance for officers injured or killed in the line of duty.
f. Advocate for the further development of Neighbourhood Watches and Community Policing.
g. Seek the intervention of detectives from abroad to help solve the backlog of cases, beginning with the murders, gun and violent crimes.
h. Introduce in the Federal Parliament anti-gang legislation which criminalizes gangs, gang wear and gang activity.
i. Create opportunities in troubled areas geared towards continuing education, employment and the elevation of self-esteem.
j. Establish a Task Force on Crime and Violence with appropriate funding, having within its mandate the responsibility to reward individuals whose information leads to the arrest and conviction of criminals.
k. Establish in Nevis a Youth Facility for young offenders with minor offences to separate them from the more hardened criminals. This facility will be based primarily on education and rehabilitation of young offenders and will include mandatedskills training, community service and re-education.
l. Invest in Closed Circuit Television throughout the public areas of the island of St. Kitts and work with The NIA to expand its efforts in Nevis.
m. Legislate tougher sanctions and penalties for gun possession, gun crimes and crimes of violence.
n. Invest in fingerprinting equipment and modern crime scene investigation training for our Police and develop a finger print data base to assist in the solving of crimes.
o. Develop a policy of ZERO TOLERANCE for anti-social behavior, loitering, public disorder, and any and all violations of existing law.
Team UNITY believes that the implementation of these policies, along with tireless review and assessment, and community involvement will result in a dramatic reduction in a very short space of time on the way to reduce the current levels of material criminality in our Federation. Team Unity can only have that chance with your support. Judging form the ongoing state of affairs, the safety and security of our Nation can only be assured with a Team Unity Government. Give us this one opportunity, we will earn every other.