While he expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the officers in his Department, Inspector Wilkinson commended the work of the Court because the Task Force could not impose any fines, including the hefty ones that were recently passed into law in St. Kitts and Nevis, to serve as a deterrent to would be drug offenders.
“The Task Force makes a significant contribution to the Treasury and that is something that the government can’t budget for. I would not say the Task Force I would say the Courts because the task Force does not impose fines. We take the matter before the court, we present the facts and the Courts make the decision. So we must commend the Court for the role they play in adjudicating in these matters,” he said.
The Inspector used the opportunity to speak to the role of the Task Force which he described as being constant. He said the Department was engaged in crime prevention and dealt with all matters.
“We are there front and centre sometimes in a back role, sometimes [its] only the Department but it is strictly about crime prevention and we are always there,” he said.
Notwithstanding, their successes, the Senior Officer lamented the size of the Unit and other needs necessary for greater effectiveness of the Department in the face of a changing culture and dynamic criminals.
“We are critically few in numbers, we would be happy if we could get more men in the Department because the culture is changing. We have different cultures and the criminals are dynamic so it’s ever changing and challenge is constant.
“We are always out on the street visible patrolling. A lot of times we drive through the villages and people say we just driving but they don’t really know exactly what we are doing but I believe our presence on the streets creates a deterrent,” he said.
However, even in the circumstances Inspector Wilkinson was of the view that the Government was in full support of the Police, likewise the Nevis Island Administration and members of the Private Sector but called for further assistance for a patrol vehicles.
“In terms of the Government, I feel it is behind the Police 100 percent. The Nevis Island Administration has done a lot to even though they are not directly responsible for the Police they are doing their part, they have done tremendous.
We have had assistance not directly to the Task Force but to the Police Department. We have had assistance from the Private Sector. Right now we are struggling in terms of vehicles to get around. We had an evaluation done on our [Task Force] vehicle as recent as yesterday (Tuesday October 18th) by a private enterprise and it is in a risky state,” he said.
The Senior Police Officer said there were often complaints from the public that the police do not take care of their vehicles but failed to see they were in use all the time every day.
“They don’t see the glaring fact that Police vehicles are used 24 hours a day, they are going all the time. When you get a vehicle as a private individual you drive your vehicle to work you park it up, you may go home for lunch you come back you park it up. You finish at 4, you go home and you park it up.
“The Police vehicle is dealing with reports all the time. Sometimes they go fast sometimes they go slow but they are going all the time and those vehicles will deteriorate at a significantly quicker rate than a private vehicle,” he stated.