Prime Minister Harris warns of inextricable link between drugs and illegal guns
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 28, 2017, (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris wants citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to exercise caution when making statements regarding the country’s position on the use of drugs.
Speaking on Thursday, April 27, 2017, Prime Minister Harris revealed that the majority of violent crimes in St. Kitts and Nevis are gang and drug related and “that is why the police have to continue to basically deal with both.”
The Honourable Prime Minister further stated that there is a direct connection between gun related incidents and the use of drugs in the Federation.
“Drugs are illegal in terms of their use here in St. Kitts and Nevis, whether it is marijuana or cocaine, and as I said the strongest correlation is being found between illegal guns, firearms (and) ammunition and those who are involved in drugs in the country,” Dr. Harris said.
The Prime Minister continued, “That is why we take strongest objection to persons, who are aware of the inextricable link between drugs and guns in the country, making irresponsible and ill-advised statements regarding the use of drugs in St. Kitts and Nevis,” adding: “We have to look both within ourselves to see if what we are doing is helping and within our own country to see if as many of us who can help are helping in this regard.”
Furthermore, Prime Minister Harris said there are increased efforts by the security forces to not only rid the streets of illegal firearms, but also to prevent them from reaching the nation’s shores.
Dr. Harris pointed to the increased level of cooperation being established between law enforcement agencies here in St. Kitts and Nevis and neighbouring islands. Prime Minister Harris noted that this should result in better surveillance of the coastal areas.
“The Commissioner has met with his counterpart in St. Maarten in recent times to address cooperation. We have had efforts being made, and from the second week of May or thereabout, at the regional level, we are having a special meeting of law enforcement agencies in St. Kitts, to address an OECS approach to this upsurge in violent crimes.”
The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, earlier this week, reported that stepped up operations by the security forces have so far resulted in the removal of 12 illegal firearms from the streets of St. Kitts and Nevis for 2017.