St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris last Wednesday shared the details of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force’s Crime Action security plan for the federation.
The multi-faceted plan stresses crime prevention, intelligence-led policing, targeted operations, collaboration with other agencies, engagement of stakeholders, and improvement in administration. The 6 Point Action Plan comes after over a decade of unrelenting and ever increasing incidents of violent crimes , in particular murders. Since Janaury of 2014 there has been over 3O Murders in the federation. Upon taking office in February the new Team UNITY Government led by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, had inherited some 8 murders in the first 8 weeks of 2015 alone under the previous Dr. Denzil Douglas led administration. The Douglas administration had overseen well over 125 murders in the last decade with a record 34 murder in 2011 and some 33 murders over his last 14 months in office at an average of over 2 murders per month.
The action plan presented to the Dr. Timothy Harris led cabinet by the Police High Command was approved and is being touted and described as the most comprehensive crime action plan the federation has ever seen.
In addressing a Press Conference and announcing the implementation of the plan Prime Minister Harris stated “This represents an action plan to reduce homicides and violent crimes in the federation,” said Harris. “The plan is being backed by resources. It is not a plan that we say put up and wait for the next budget. Whatever exigencies there are of state in relation to this plan, we will ensure that the resources are being made available to ensure effective implementation.”
New measures will include greater use of the Mobile Command Unit, high visibility policing, and strengthening of the Teens and Police Service Academy and the Mentoring, Advising, Guiding and Instructing Children (MAGIC) programs.
The police force will also be expanding CCTV coverage, the use of traffic enforcement exercises, and number of K9 officers.
It will focus on communities around St Kitts and Nevis and encourage them to instate neighborhood watches and the involvement of non-governmental agencies.
“Not a day is to be wasted in terms of the fight and the commitment of this government to this matter of crime because we recognize that we are at a critical stage and the sooner we act the better,” the Prime Minister said.
The cabinet promptly approved the over half-million dollar budget for the project in response to a request by law enforcement to support the recent increase in police action, including increased stop and searches, derelict vehicle searches, and other security-related operations which have resulted in a number of arrests.
The stop and searches over the last few days since the implementation has already yielede results with the recovery of a number of fire-arms. To date for 2015 some 12 fire-arms have been recovered or taken off the streets compared to 11 for the entire 2014.
A number of arrests have been made as a result of the implementation of the plan including the arrest and charge of a suspect in a recent murder .