In many instances, as the police have admitted, their challenge is not so much that they are unaware of who might be responsible for some of the murders and other criminal acts, but their efforts have been retarded in the past by a public that has become afraid about playing their role before the court as witnesses. Apathy has set in, in some instances.
That is why, partly, police departments in countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis have had to be turning to modern technology to give them a much needed edge.
The expansion of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) network on both islands, with the placement of more cameras is therefore being viewed by Police Commissioner CG Walwyn as an improved window to enhance public safety and detect crime.
Walwyn says that most of the major centers in Basseterre and Charlestown are covered with CCTV cameras and they have been a welcomed tool to law enforcement as it has provided “leads to new investigations.”
The Commissioner cautioned however that CCTVs do not stop crime and that should be made clear to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Giving a European example, he noted that cameras are prominently featured in England but crime still exists. “It (CCTV) gives us investigative tools to use in solving crimes. For instance, something may happen and we will know that it’s two people or one person. What kind of car it was. Even if we don’t get the (license) plate at least we can narrow it down so we know what we’re looking for.”
The police commissioner stressed that law abiding citizens have nothing to fear from the security cameras as they are not breaking any privacy laws. He reminded that the cameras are out in the open and the public will see them, suggesting that they are not hiding their intentions to use them as tools for detection.
Financial support for the network has come from private corporate partners in the country and one foreign government.