Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 18, 2011 (SKNIS):Crime in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has been trending down as security forces continue to implement initiatives to “take back the streets.”
On this week’s edition of SKNIS Perspectives, Commissioner of Police Celvin G. Walwyn revealed that proactive measures by the Police supported by the Defence Force, enhanced investigative techniques and greater support from the public and private sector has had a positive impact.
“In the first month that I was here – even though we had an increase in shootings over the [prior] month – we had a 48 percent drop in crime in St. Kitts,” he stated. “In October, we had a 23 percent drop in crime. So even though it looked like things were getting out of control, things have actually gotten better.”
The new tactical force called Delta Squad has been at the fore of many security operations. The unit is comprised of Police and Defence Force personnel who maintain a zero-tolerance approach to crime. In the first month of operation, the Commissioner reported that the men and women recovered approximately five guns, 3,000 marijuana trees and hundreds of bullets.
The public has responded to the work of the security forces and has given active support. “The last shooting we had, someone, I don’t know who it was, called my phone and told me we just had a shooting and this is the colour of the vehicle and this is [the direction] they were going in. So we have the citizens now trying to take back their streets and we are doing everything we can to work with the citizens in trying to take back the streets,” Commissioner Walwyn disclosed.
Fostering greater relations and trust between the public and law enforcement officers were among the priorities of Mr. Walwyn when he assumed command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force on September 01. Another priority was increasing the crime scene investigative techniques of the police.
Officers at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) received advanced training on how to read and classify fingerprints using a computer system that was donated by a benefactor. In addition, a pledge was received from another benefactor to provide the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which creates a database which can be searched for matches within the stored information.
Additional training is planned for members of the security forces in a variety of areas. Commitments have been secured from regional and international agencies in this regard.