Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 22, 2017 (SKNIS): As part of the federation’s national strategy in the fight against crime, Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, said that the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) will continue to work closely with communities and in particular, at-risk youth.

While appearing on Wednesday’s (June 21) edition of “Working for You”, Commissioner Queeley said that it is extremely important to inform the public and let them know that the police is very serious about crime and the fear of crime within communities.

… “The police on a whole will be continuing to not only engage the communities in the way that we should. We want the community to see us as their friends and not as their enemies and that is why it is so important that all the other aspects of society get on board because it is a community outreach,” said the commissioner. “We cannot and do not in any way suppose that we can do it alone and we have built out our strategies that we see necessary to tackle the various crimes.”

Commissioner Queeley said that at present, crimes of a violent nature are of major concern.

“We have the homicides but we also have a lot of breakings, what we call crimes of opportunities and so, from that perspective, while we educate the public as to how they can prevent these crimes, we want to at the same time be in a position if those crimes are not prevented to be able to detect them and bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said, adding that crimes of violence drive the most fear within communities and are often times committed by persons from within the community. “These persons have parents who go to church and this is why we are talking about an all-inclusive and wholesome approach.”

Equally important, Commissioner Queeley said that the police will continue its efforts to engage the youth as “most of the criminal activities that are being committed” are done so by persons between the ages of 15-30.

“And so, we would want to see how we can engage them in a meaningful way and it is for that reason why part of our strategy is to engage them in the early stages,” said Commissioner Queeley. “We have a number of programmes within the schools. We have revisited our school liaison programmes where we would have an officer who is attached to the school. We can speak also about school resource officers and officers who will be assigned not only as school liaison to the school, but who play a more meaningful role, having identified the youth that are at-risk, so that we can ‘nip it in the bud’.

He said that it is important for the police force to be able to prevent things before they can be detected. Commissioner Queeley spoke to the National Crime Reduction and Prevention Strategy (NCRPS), which came out of a National Crime Reduction Symposium held in February 2017, guided by Dr. Neals Chitan, an International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Prevention Specialist. The NCRPS was developed by a number of stakeholders in an effort to help reduce or prevent the occurrence of criminal activities in St. Kitts and Nevis.