Police seek closer collaboration with local media

Police Commissioner

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 09, 2012 (SKNIS): Authorities in St. Kitts and Nevis are working to improve the partnership between the press and the security forces.

Having had an extensive background in law enforcement in Texas and Florida in the United States, Commissioner of Police Celvin G. Walwyn is aware of the benefits of establishing a productive relationship with the media so as to communicate effectively with the populace. However, he also noted the need for balanced and accurate reporting.

“We have some of the news media sensationalizing some of the events here,” he stated. “Before I came to St. Kitts, believe it or not I was a little nervous to come here, because I had heard so much negative and read so much negative (stories) in the newspaper,” the Commissioner admitted, reflecting on a personal trip he planned to take in 2010. “When I came to St. Kitts, I said whoa, this is not like they are talking. “

“They are spreading bad information about the place and when you read it on the internet, it sounds like this country has gone, in a hand basket and St. Kitts and Nevis is not that way.”

The Head of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force indicated that he engaged media personnel in a forum to hear concerns and ideas on how to improve the information flow to ensure timely and factual reporting.

“I want the media to be a part of what we are doing because there is a lot of misinformation.”

One case cited, referred to an article which appeared in a popular U.S.-based publication.

The reporter “cut my statement in half and sensationalized it because it sounded better while it was cut in half,” Commissioner Walwyn stated. “We need to stop spreading these false rumors about what’s happening here. … We do have crime, like anywhere else, but most of our crime is isolated.”

The media was promised that the police force’s press and public relations officer and other senior members would be willing to provide any information requested as long as it does not compromise ongoing investigations.

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