November, 30, 2015
The High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force finds a statement made by the leader of the opposition in relation to the crime situation in the Federation, most unfortunate and misleading.
The men and women of Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force have been and will remain committed to Citizen Safety, and in ensuring that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be a safe place to live, work, vacation and do business.
Over the past years, crime has been a challenge for us. It has manifested itself in the last years with an increase in violent gun related crimes; and in particular homicides. This is great cause for concern. However, the fact supported statistics reflects that we have seen a reduction in the overall occurrences of major crimes in the Federation.
The year 2015 like previous years has been challenging. To meet these challenges a comprehensive well thought out crime fighting Plan of Action, embracing best practices and inputs from other Law Enforcement stakeholders was designed and implemented.
The “Six Point Plan” for the Reduction of Homicides and Violent Crimes was adopted and implemented in July of 2015, and to date has produced encouraging early successes. The plan is grounded on six pillars which are critical to modern day policing. They are; (1) Crime Prevention (2) Intelligence-Led Policing (3) Targeted Operations (4) Community Engagement (5) Collaborative Strategies (6) Continuous Improvement and Administration.
The Federation has recorded 26 Homicides to date; 26 too many we may stress. However, when looking at the fact that from January through June of 2015, prior to the implementation of the “Six Point Plan” the Federation recorded 18 homicides. A reduction to eight in the last 5 months since the implementation of the plan, is an early indicator that the best practices are making a difference.
Additionally, since the implementation of the “Six Point Plan of Action”, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, in collaboration with and support of its partners has taken over 830 lbs. of Marijuana from the streets with a street value in excess of ECC $11 Million, and has seized over 10lbs of Cocaine with a street value of approximately ECC $420,000. The success of the Anti-Narcotics Unit and their partners is clear proof that elements of the plan, “Intelligence Led Policing, Targeted Operations and Collaborative Engagements” are bearing fruit.
In 2014, a total of 12 illegal firearms were taken from the streets of our communities, to date this year, 19 illegal firearms and associated ammunition have been removed.
Capacity building within the Police Service is a priority, and it has been embraced and is being realized with the assistance of our consultants from the Bramshill Policing Advisors and other regional and international partners. Over 200 training opportunities have been afforded our officers in the past months as we continue our efforts to have depth on our teams. Our officers have benefited from ongoing training and to date they received instructions in the following areas; leadership and management with the Police Supervisory Courses; Training and Officer Development with the Instructors Course; and area specific training in Immigration , Crime Scene Management and Preservation, Serious Crime Investigation, Investigative interviewing, Advanced Serious Crime Investigation, Firearms tool marking, Ballistics, Discreet Shadowing and Monitoring and the Senior Investigating Officer’s course which concluded today (27/11/15). In the coming months Officers will receive further training in; Awareness courses in Crime Skills, Witness Protection, Family Liaison and Disclosure of Evidence, further Investigative interviewing, Intelligence and Source Handling, Media and Communication and Strategic Leadership with workshops in Supervisory Skills.
The government has also clearly demonstrated its commitment to the task at hand with the purchase of new equipment. Worthy to note, is the purchase of a state of the art “Comparison Microscope” at a cost of approximately ECC $460,000 to enhance the work in our Forensics Services Unit with regards to ballistics analysis. We thank the Government for its continued investment in the Police Service, through the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security, who has repeatedly demonstrated that Government will spare no resource that is required to maintain law and order.
Crime Fighting is the responsibility of all of us. The Police, our churches, our schools, our community organizations, our government, all of us have to fulfill our role.
We therefore ask, that rather than engage in the tearing down of our men and women that we embrace them in partnership. Partnership with the Police, for the safety of our streets, neighbourhoods, villages and our Nation on a whole. Let’s fight crime together, it requires the efforts of all of us.
The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force will remain steadfast in our mission, ”Keeping St. Kitts and Nevis Safe.”