The following is the full text of a statement issued by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) at the end of an emergency Cabinet meeting on January 25, 2014, in the aftermath of a shooting incident at the Public Works Department at Prospect earlier that day.
It has come to the attention of the Nevis Island Administration that there was this morning an altercation at the government owned premises of the Public Works Department where multiple gunshots were fired. Whilst the Administration is happy at the good fortune that there were no injuries, the Ministry of Works and the entire Administration unreservedly condemns this type of violence.
Such reckless criminal behaviour impacts not only the individuals involved but also the innocent workers at the Public Works Department who have not troubled anyone but were merely going about their business in the service of the people of Nevis.
While information at this point is still coming in, the Administration wishes to make it clear that it supports fully the efforts of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and urges anyone with information about this morning’s altercation to report that information to the Police.
This is not a time to squander the gains made to date in the economic recovery that Nevis is experiencing. The Administration calls again on our people to do what is right. In particular, the Administration urges our young men to seek to resolve their conflicts peacefully rather than through violence.
The Administration will continue to press ahead with its efforts in education, job creation and economic growth together with its efforts in social development, youth and sports development. The Administration also commits itself fully to its partnership with organizations such as Operation Future and the Creative Arts Academy in Cotton Ground to provide viable options and alternatives for our youth.
The events of this morning are lamentable and the Administration will not rest until this scourge of violent crime is eradicated from our beloved island. In this fight, the Administration urges the assistance of the entire Nevisian public.
No Government can triumph in the fight against crime without the full assistance of the general public. Crime is a social problem and the society must engage in its eradication. The Administration will lead this fight firmly and decisively but cannot succeed without the cooperation and support of the Nevisian public.
The Administration wishes for a speedy and successful conclusion to the Police investigation into the altercation this morning, so that those involved and criminally liable may be brought swiftly to justice.