Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 22, 2019 (RSCNPF): The Criminal Investigation Department (C.I.D.) is fostering relationships with various schools and communities in the Basseterre area as part of the department’s mandate to increase its community engagement efforts.
Detectives from the C.I.D. have been frequently visiting Greenlands to get to know the persons who live in the area and to introduce themselves. The Officers also distribute crime tips and share information with residents on how to better secure their premises.
Members of the C.I.D. appeared on a recent “Policing With You” programme to inform the public about their efforts. The programme was hosted by the Head of the C.I.D., Inspector James Francis. He was joined by team members Sergeant Elvin Browne, Sergeant Valon Hodge and Corporal Andrea Battice.
“We have adopted Greenlands, but we have also branched out to other areas where we might be seeing an increase of break-ins and burglaries and, in doing so, we go out and we speak to the residents and we find out what are the problems they might be having…and we try and work with them and we do a lot of patrols in the area…” explained Corporal Battice.
As a result of the headway made in Greenlands, the team has included the Taylor’s Village and Bird Rock areas in their outreach plans for the final quarter of the year. The department is also including schools. Members of the department visited the Basseterre High School to speak with students about self-discipline earlier this month. According to Inspector Francis, the Basseterre High School was the first school to participate in this initiative, but the department has made arrangements with the Washington Archibald High School, the Advanced Vocational and Educational Center (AVEC) and several other primary schools in Basseterre.
“In spite of our work load, we have made the sacrifice to actually incorporate community policing in our extensive schedule… It is a lot of work but, however, we incorporate it because we see the importance of incorporating that aspect of policing in the Federation, because it really helps us to actually curb crime,” Sergeant Hodge stated.
Sergeant Browne also added that, “gone are the days when the public would only see the police when something happens…we have decided that we should do away with that type of policing and engage the public and be a friend to the public. I believe in that way we will be getting more cooperation and assistance from the public.”
Rolling out the initiative was not always easy, however. Corporal Battice explained that one of the main challenges was getting through to the some residents who were hesitant to speak with the Police.
“I could recall when I started in Greenlands, [the] first time, I had some cold shoulders, persons weren’t willing to speak to the police, but because we make it an every week thing…I think that they are coming around, they see that we are serious,” said Corporal Battice. “When we come around, embrace us. We only have good intentions.”
The C.I.D. is responsible for investigating all robberies, home invasions, larcenies, fraud and other felonies. It is just one of the departments in the Force that have been executing community policing activities as part of the 2019 Policing Plan.