St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has reiterated Government’s support for law enforcement as new strategies to enhance public safety are being reviewed.
While updating the National Assembly on Tuesday (August 23), Dr. Harris, who is also the Minister of National Security, said the local security forces will be stepping up efforts to “deter, detect, deny and detain offenders of all crimes.” The increased vigilance and operations by the security forces are designed to make criminals “uncomfortable” and Dr. Harris warned persons to cooperate, and not obstruct the peace officers in the execution of their duties.
“We have to take a stand, a serious stand [over] what is happening in the country and we are either going to stand with law and order or we are going to stand with the criminals,” he stated, speaking directly to the citizenry. “We have to draw a line in the sand and make up in our minds what it is we want. The safety of the country must come first and when criminals are prepared to shoot anywhere, in McKnight, in Basseterre, by banks, by churches, it is time to draw the line in the sand.”
Two areas of focus identified for improvement from the police are crime mapping and crime analysis. The Prime Minister said the improvements will allow law enforcement a better understanding of key questions.
“Where, when, how, to whom and of course why?” he asked, referring to acts of crime. “We will continue to seek expert assistance in this regard. These efforts will continue to be supported by information and intelligence which form the foundation of the necessary intelligence-led approach to dealing with the problem as outlined in the police’s Six Point Plan and our overarching strategic framework for 2016 to 2019.”
Prime Minister Harris added that the Ministry of National Security will continue to engage stakeholders to study the root causes of crime in society as they determine what role they can play in improving public safety. He implored parents to take hold of their child/children and guide their actions in a constructive manner, promising that existing laws will be reviewed and implemented to ensure that parents are held accountable where applicable.
“The Government has at this time, not ruled out vigorously pursuing any initiative that will remove and immediately bring an end to the upsurge of criminal activity and bring relief to the people of this federation,” the Prime Minister stated.
Dr. Harris said that there are too many funerals for young men killed by gun violence, too many mothers and fathers who will not see their child/children grow up. He stated that it was time for persons who love and support the country to choose a side and take a stand.