The calls took the form of a resolution on crime – which was the result of a meeting held by the organisation on Wednesday, 18th May, 2011. The resolution was “passed for transmission to the Government”.
MiyVue.com understands that a major portion of that meeting tackled the issue of the government’s response to crime and the meeting indicated that it is cognisant “that government recognises how desperately bad the crime situation has become and the grave risk we face that it would destroy our economy; and…that government proposes a ten point initiative to escalate the fight against crime.”
The meeting expressed its support of government’s initiative but expressed its concerns, among which were the current Commissioner of Police and the National Security Permanent Secretary.
The office of the Commissioner of Police (COP) is occupied by Austin Williams and the office of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National is being filled by Astona Browne. Regarding the COP, the representatives at the meeting, according to section 1.1 of the resolution, called for “speedy appointment of a new Commissioner of Police from outside the country with a local understudy”.
Regarding the office of the Ministry of National Security’s Permanent Secretary, the resolutions suggests that the Chamber and other represented NGOs, “based on empirical evidence” have “no confidence in the capability of the current holder of that office to manage the implementation of the government crime initiative.”
The resolution also suggested that the government’s 10-point plan be implemented decisively and expeditiously, that assistance to implement the plan be solicited by from the Regional Security Services (RSS), the “engagement of two experienced police officers from outside the country, one to manage and upgrade the training of the Criminal Investigation Department in crime detection and prosecution and the other to assist in implementation of the proposed RICO legislation” and that “the Parliamentary Select Committee proposed should be mandated to report on a monthly basis to the public on the progress of implementation of the initiative.”
The resolution also spoke to the issue of the Crime Task Force which was appointed in 2009 and called for government to “facilitate the speedy completion of (its) work…and publication of their report as soon as it is delivered.”
The final leg of the resolutions made a call to civil society to pay keen attention to and to “closely monitor” the implementation of the initiative and as a recommendation, the represented entities suggested that a commission, of a “cross-sectoral” and “high powered” nature be appointed with the sole purposes of providing counsel and monitoring the “implementation of the medium and long term solutions recommended by the Task Force and/or otherwise approved.”
The NGOs which were represented at the meeting are: the St Kitts Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the St Kitts & Nevis Bankers Association, the St Kitts and Nevis Bar Association, St Kitts Evangelical Association, the St Kitts-Nevis Hotel & Tourism Association, St Kitts-Nevis Contractors Association, the St Kitts Christian Council, Realtors of the Federation, the St Christopher National Trust, the St Kitts Taxi Association and the St Christopher Children’s Home & Service League.