Basseterre, St. Kitts, Monday, 5th November, 2018, (MyVueNews.com) – Pushing back on claims of abuse by the Regional Security System, RSS, local police leaders have indicated that their presence has made a significant difference.
RSS forces began arriving into the Federation on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 and have since been providing support to the efforts of local law enforcement in maintaining peace and security, said an official release.
However, some residents have complained about being targeted for searches and claim that they have been beaten and harassed.
The opposition Labour Party too, has scolded the government for inviting the troops and the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Denzil Douglas had written to the Chairman of the OECS to lobby against their deployment.
However, a senior police official revealed that, “As at Saturday, October 27, 2018, they had assisted local law enforcement in the execution of 105 search warrants throughout the Federation.”
These searches, said the official, have resulted in the discovery of one illegal firearm, several rounds of assorted ammunition, cocaine and the arrest of several wanted individuals.
A government release late last week quoted the Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police responsible for Operations, Adolph Adams as saying that they have increased police visibility in the Basseterre area, through the formation of a special foot patrol unit comprising of local law enforcement and RSS personnel.
The release added that the additional manpower provided by the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) is allowing law enforcement agencies to expand and intensify their operations throughout the country, particularly in areas deemed as “hotspots.”
Adams also said that with the addition of the RSS forces, law enforcement personnel can now have 24-hour law enforcement presence in a number of communities over a longer period of time.
For instance, there is now 24-hour presence by soldiers of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) in the St. Johnston’s Village and McKnight areas.
The ACP added that they have 24-hour police coverage in Newtown and Taylor’s Village, as well as increased police visibility in the New Road/Stapleton area.
It was noted too that both the Anti-Gang and Tactical Units carry out daily patrols throughout the rural communities of St. Kitts and Nevis.