The growing crime wave has prompted much discussion in various organizations within the country.
The Rotary club in its effort to address the problem came up with some suggestions to lessen the crime situation.
These ranged from the establishment of a ‘Crime Stoppers’ programme, to duty free access on surveillance or burglar alarms systems for residents.
Others submitted related to sending police officers to pursue studies in forensic science; curfews for children; CCTV monitoring in particular areas; and better interrogation practices.
In response to the presentation of recommendations by the Rotarians, Mr. Condor shared his own perspectives and brought the membership up to date on various initiatives.
The Rotary Club presented Minister Condor with a RCL pennant, which was facilitated by the past club President Mr. Eustace Warner, as a symbol of the Club’s commitment in the fight against crime.
The Rotary Club of Liamuiga also assured the government Minister of its continued support for programs and policies to combat crime and violence.
Outlined below for the benefit of readers, is the full list of recommendations:
- Establishment of a Crime Stoppers type of programme. Some aspects of the plan could be:-
- Establish a revolving fund with the assistance of the business community and the RCL.
- 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.
- Calls to the overseas Crime Stopper Organizations should be made free of charge.
- Signs could be placed throughout the country with the telephone number.
- Each person reporting a crime would be given a pin number, which would be used to follow up on the tips given.
- 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.
- Part payment could be effected upon someone being charged for a crime, and an additional, larger amount being paid upon conviction.
- 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.
- Duty free access on surveillance or burglar alarms systems for residents.
- 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.
- Curfew for young persons with penalties to the parents for repeat offenders.
- 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.
- 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.
- More routine stop and search, especially in communities where there are a number of reported criminal activities.
- Better interrogation of persons with the emphasis being on getting information about where the guns are located.
- CCTV monitoring in areas such as the Frigate Bay Strip and the West Basseterre By-Pass Road.
- Capacity building training of existing Police Officers.
- Strengthening of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
- 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.