(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, came in for high praise on Wednesday (April 5) by a local businessman for his efforts in helping to resolve an abduction and robbery situation involving a national of St. Kitts and Nevis, who is currently living and training in Antigua.
Popular photographer Leroy Willet of Willett’s Photo Studios used Wednesday’s press conference with Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, to publicly thank Commissioner Queeley for aiding in the rescue of his daughter, who, along with a friend, was pushed into a vehicle and robbed in the neighbouring island.
Mr. Willett extended heartfelt gratitude to the Police Commissioner, adding, “I really want to say thank you to Commissioner Queeley. We hear a lot of negatives but we don’t hear the positives because he stayed on the phone and he made certain that my daughter and her friend were rescued.”
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris commended Mr. Willett for helping to shed light on some of the positive work of the police force.
He added, “I want to thank you for coming public and commending the police force in particular and all the other parliamentarians that gave support. Too often the bad news regarding police actions or lack of them is being reported and the positives never get the light of the day, so thank you for being a good citizen in sharing that experience and we wish your daughter well and safe passage back home.”
Prime Minister Harris, who also serves as Minister of National Security, said that Commissioner Queeley’s role in resolving the crisis, coupled with the recent downward trend in homicides, bodes well for the direction in which the police force is heading as it is indicative of the proactive stance of the nation’s security forces.
Dr. Harris reported to the nation that homicides for the first quarter (January to March 2017) are down from 9 in 2016 to 6 in 2017, which represents a significant reduction of 33 percent.
“While it’s not where we want it ideally, we must remark that we have achieved a 33 percent reduction and that is significant in terms of where it’s trending,” Dr. Harris stated. “Importantly, in 2016 all of the homicides were of a gun related nature, for the first quarter. Of those six in 2017, four were gun related so we are seeing again a reduction in gun related homicides.”
The Honourable Prime Minister said the recent trend is testament to the hard work and dedication of the men and women who serve in the different law enforcement agencies, noting that “It’s not just the police, it is the Customs Department, it is the Defence Force that are working collaboratively to ensure the peace and good order in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister Harris added, “I hope that the second quarter will see an improvement relative to last year and this positive trending can continue.”