CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (MAY 27, 2010) — A Senior Member of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Nevis Division, commended the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for what a timely Symposium on Crime hosted by the Premier’s Ministry. He said the event sought to garner the views of the public, in an effort to reclaim the society in the midst of the pervasive but controllable phenomenon of crime.
Police Inspector Andre Mitchel’s comment came on Wednesday when he delivered a report entitled Anti-social Behaviour in Our Society, at the Symposium at the Pinneys Beach Hotel Conference Centre. The event’s theme was “Reclaiming our Society”.
“It is our firm belief that reclaiming our society has to start with the society itself. We live in a small society that is armed with information, ideas, strong opinions and I believe, a willingness to work towards ridding itself of crimes committed by a few misguided youths, who are bent on making a living from dishonesty and destroying the fabric and future of our country, by associating themselves in gangs and shooting their fellowmen for no apparent reason,” he said.
According to Inspector Mitchel, the approach to curb crime in this modern era had to be one in which the police and members of the society worked closely together with a common understanding, message and objective.
He explained that the police’s message was that anti social behaviour by a few misguided youth would not be tolerated and a zero tolerance approach was encouraged in that regard.
“To this end for the past few months the Police in the Nevis Division have engaged the public in a number of meetings. These meetings have been held in a number of areas including Cotton Ground, Hanley’s Road, New Castle, Hard Times and Hamilton. This afternoon we are going to Barnes Ghaut. The members of the community are giving their suggestions, ideas, opinions and we are listening and sharing with them techniques in preventing crime.
“We have had an excellent exchange and information is flowing. We have incorporated some of these suggestions into our planning and decision making process. I am happy to say we are seeing results; positive results.
“We have seen our detection rate jumped to 84 percent last month and decline in criminal activity. We have brought 30 persons before the Magistrates Court for possession of controlled drugs so far for this year and again the information is flowing,” he said.
The Police Inspector noted that it was the plan to continue the outreach programme in the communities because it was their belief that if the police were engaged in public service that the public should say how well they have been served. If the public was not satisfied with the service rendered by the police service it meant returning to the drawing board to speak and examine what went wrong.
“It has to be a new approach, a new way of thinking if we are going to stem the tide of crime and violence and reclaim our society from a misguided few.
“We have our faults and we acknowledge that like in any organisation there will be persons among us that are not truthful to their oath. Officers who are giving below par performances, officers who might have instruct issues which has served as a significant barrier to the community. Our aim, no doubt, would be to identify those and weed them out,” he said.
On the contrary, Inspector Michel pointed to other officers who went beyond the call of duty and who worked tirelessly and relentlessly to ensure that members of the community slept peaceful at nights.
In conclusion he stated that the world over had become more dangerous, complex and was a greater need for persons with integrity, textured sensibility and a willingness to go the extra mile to find solutions to problems which often seemed intractable.
“Opportunities abound to make our society a peaceful and safe place but it is clear to us that we must be prepared to harness the power of the community as partners if we are ever going to withstand contemporary challenges in our fight against crime and violence. I would say to you it is time for action. It is time for collaboration in reclaiming our society.
“It is in this context we will give full expression to the synergies of organisational and individual responsibilities and good citizenship, a behaviour that under grids the very essence of contemporary policing. Together we can work to make Nevis and by extension St. Kitts and Nevis a safer place to live, work and raise our children,” he said.