Government Fears Crime Could Undermine Economic Performance

This was one of the troubling issues that occupied the attention of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, when he made a radio and television address to Kittitians and Nevisians on Wednesday night, (31st August, 2011).

Dr. Douglas’ address was designed to set out a series of new initiatives that he has instituted to strengthen the government’s position to combat the increasing criminal activities of gangs in the country.

He said the entire nation has expressed great shock and dismay over the recent escalation in crime, as manifested in the senseless and ruthless murder of four of our young people in the course of four days, just over a week ago.Governor-General-Sir-Cuthbert-Sebestian

 

“Indeed, the number of murders in the first eight months of this year has already exceeded the number reported in the entire 12 months of last year and has, in fact, reached record levels. This situation has been very distressing to me and has been dominating my attention and thought processes on an ongoing basis,” said PM Douglas.

The Head of Government told citizens that notwithstanding the economic crisis that continues to haunt the entire globe, “we have been making great progress in addressing our fiscal imbalances, and we are on the verge of reducing our debt substantially through a debt restructuring programme that we are implementing with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund. Indeed we believe that our efforts in this regard would lay a solid foundation for the attainment of sustained growth over the medium-term and long-term.”

However, he admitted that the current levels of crime in the country, if continued for an extended period, could undermine the programme of debt reduction, growth and development; and bring all of the efforts to naught.

 

Douglas said, “We run the risk of shattering the confidence of our many foreign investors, scaring away potential tourists and depleting our confidence in ourselves as a people and our willingness to engage in investment and other economic activities critical to the development of our nation.”

He went on to outline a number of new departments and programs that the government is about to implement to create the type of response that would produce the results demanded by the public, to rid the society of the senseless killings and other gang related activities.

 

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