International Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, Dr. Neals Chitan, is facilitating the February 09 event that is designed to have stakeholders explore the varying psycho-social factors that cause crime, look at current developments, and develop strategies to reduce incidences of such.
“Crime reduction for us in the government, for us in the country, must be seen as an urgent imperative in St. Kitts and Nevis, I dare say in St. Lucia, in Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Belize, everywhere in the Caribbean where there is lawlessness, it must be a concern for each and every one of us for we are still our brother’s keepers,” Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said at the opening session. “Let us in St. Kitts and Nevis be the leader in coming together for the national good. The good is to make St. Kitts and Nevis the safest place to live, to grow up, to work, to invest and indeed the safest place to be.”
The prime minister noted that anyone can be a victim of crime and that he was pleased with the turnout of representatives from the public sector, opposition parties, private sector, non-governmental organizations, relatives of the victims of crime, school principals, youth, sports, community and church groups and other institutions and clubs.
“Although some efforts in community policing have been made, community involvement in the fight against crime has not been very forthcoming at times and this of course has been impacted upon the crime detection rates,” Dr. Harris stated. It was explained that the contributions of these civil society groups are vital to achieve the desired goals.
The afternoon session saw persons breaking out into related groups to identify specific roots and strategies of intervention from their agency or group’s perspective. Dr. Chitan stated that the work by the group was important to promote buy-in from the community, which will aid in its roll out and the level of success.
The proposals will be used by government to develop a strategic plan of action to address the current antisocial challenges. The proposals that were submitted at the end of the day will be presented to a smaller group to fine tune. That meeting will take place in Nevis in the next three weeks.