Rotary Club of Liamuiga makes anti-crime suggestions after meeting with Minister of National Security

Honourable Sam Condor, Minister of National Security

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, 24 August 2011: Over the past several months, the Members of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga (RCL) have been discussing the alarming increase in criminal activities within the Federation. The Honourable Sam Condor, Minister of National Security, was invited to one of the weekly meetings of the Club to discuss the Ministry’s and Government’s plans and suggestions to address the situation.

The Minister shared details of the Government’s Anti-Crime Strategy acknowledging that the situation posed a grave risk to the society and economy of the Federation.

Following Minister Condor’s presentation, the RCL immediately submitted the following suggestions that the Club’s Sub Committee on Crime had been working on for some time and expressed support of the Government’s Initiative:

1. Establishment of a Crime Stoppers type of programme. Some aspects of the plan could be:-

a. Establish a revolving fund with the assistance of the business community and the RCL.

b. Work in conjunction with some regional or international Crime Stopper Organizations, as the size of our country and easy familiarity of the local situation may make it too expensive, as well as there may be a perceived lack of privacy to run the organization locally.

c. Calls to the overseas Crime Stopper Organizations should be made free of charge.

d. Signs could be placed throughout the country with the telephone number.

e. Each person reporting a crime would be given a pin number, which would be used to follow up on the tips given.

f. Payments would be made anonymously using the pin number so that, for example, even if someone in a bank knew that money was paid to someone in relation to a crime tip the person would not know the particular crime to which it related.

g. Part payment could be effected upon someone being charged for a crime, and an additional, larger amount being paid upon conviction.

2. Establishment of a Complaints Department, independent of the Police Force, where persons who are not satisfied with the service received from the Police Force could air their grievances and/or make complaints.

Minister Condor receiving RCL Pennant from IPP Eustace Warner

3. Duty free access on surveillance or burglar alarms systems for residents.

4. Possibly sending persons to pursue studies in Forensic Science and other related fields, so that sometime in the near future the country could have a trained Crime Scene Investigation Unit or Police Officers with improved interrogation techniques.

5. Curfew for young persons with penalties to the parents for repeat offenders.

6. While we know that the Judicial and the Executive arms of the Government are independent, we think that there is a need to look at the sentencing of persons within the framework of existing laws.

7. Making gun crimes “non bailable” offences as presently persons who are convicted on one gun crime, sometimes get charged with another similar crime while out on bail.

8. More routine stop and search, especially in communities where there are a number of reported criminal activities.

9. Better interrogation of persons with the emphasis being on getting information about where the guns are located.

10. CCTV monitoring in areas such as the Frigate Bay Strip and the West Basseterre By-Pass Road.

11. Capacity building training of existing Police Officers.

12. Strengthening of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

13. Ministry of National Security appointing a Public Relations (PR) person to take its message to the public regularly, indicating what is being done to fight the scourge of crime.

The RCL agreed that the situation requires an all hands on deck approach and extended its support in whatever way possible.

After his presentation at the RCL meeting, Minister Condor was presented with an RCL pennant by Immediate Past President (IPP) Eustace Warner, who advised that it was being presented as a symbol of the Club’s solidarity in the fight against crime.

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