Coalition Partners reinforce support for Security Forces

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 30, 2012 (SKNIS): The hard work by the men and women of the security forces has resulted in a 35 percent reduction in crime in St. Kitts and Nevis and has strengthened the resolve of private partners and citizens to increase support for law enforcement agencies.

SKNIS Photo: Members of the Coalition and Police Force with the donated forensic van and two of the bicycles

This was highlighted during a ceremony on Thursday, when members of the Coalition of Support for St. Kitts-Nevis Security Initiatives (CSSKNSI) officially presented the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force with a forensics van for the Crime Scene Unit and four police bicycles with accompanying helmets, dualstrobe lights and trunk. Four more police bicycles included in this donation package will be handed over at a later date.

LeGrand Elebash represents Christophe Harbour in the Coalition. He explained that the members of the group which includes Cockleshell Bay Development, Four Seasons Resort, Ross University, Royal St. Kitts Hotel and Casino, Windsor University as well as the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, are extremely pleased with the downward trend of antisocial activities.

“We see and feel this reduction happening. These aren’t just numbers,” he stressed. “We feel that these reductions we are seeing in crime are quite real and measurable and noticeable and our guests, our employees, our visitors feel safer …”

Commissioner of Police Celvin G. Walwyn noted that new police strategies, equipment and forensics upgrades, increased support from residents and development partners as well as greater interagency collaboration between the police and defence force have worked well. Additionally, he revealed that the force has been able to operate independently.

“When I first came here, people told me that we were going to have a lot of political interference,” the commissioner stated. “Tomorrow is going to make seven months since I’ve been here and I have not received one phone call from any politician in this country telling me how to run the police force, and the Coalition has not called me for special favors. People are genuinely interested in seeing this police agency succeed and they are giving whatever they can give in the interest of everybody.”

CSSKNSI has made three donations since its founding in the summer of 2011. In October 2011, an SUV police patrol vehicle was donated. The following month 50 bullet proof vests, 6 laptop computers and 25 rechargeable flashlights were presented. Shannon Dinwoodie of Cockleshell Bay Development indicated that “there are additional plans for more gifts in the future.”

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Her Excellency Astona Browne, thanked the Coalition and encouraged more contributions.

“To other members of our community, corporate members and citizens on a whole, feel free to give in whatever way,” stated Mrs. Browne. “Even a word of support, or reporting what you have seen in terms of crime, that too may contribute to improved detection and investigation. Whatever you can do, however simple it is, it will really go a long way in supporting our law enforcement agencies.”

The permanent secretary reiterated Government’s commitment to empower the security forces, enhance the anticrime infrastructure and foster partnerships to ensure the safety of all residents of and visitors to St. Kitts and Nevis.

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