BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has expressed shock following the double murder of two young men on Thursday night (July 21st) bringing to 19 the number of murders for 2016.
“It brings into question the effectiveness of the plan by the authorities in fighting crime in St Kitts,” said former prime minister Douglas on Saturday, July 23 who noted that when his administration took several measures while in office to curb serious crimes, the then Opposition, now in Government did not give support to the measures.
“They blamed the (St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party) Government for the criminal activity in the country, they blamed the Prime Minister, they blamed the Minister of National Security, they targeted C.G. Walwyn, our Commissioner of Police, they targeted those who were leading at the Permanent Secretary level and promised the people of St Kitts and Nevis that they had the answer to criminal activity in our country and that what we were doing was wrong and they had the answer and got elected 18 months ago on that promise,” said Dr. Douglas.
“Have they really made any difference?” asked Dr. Douglas, who added that fighting crime and criminal activity is not being taken seriously by the Timothy Harris-led PLP/CCM/PAM coalition.
“It is a problem for all of our people. It was wrong for the then opposition to blame the Labour Party Government then. It is now for the Party and those in Government to seriously tackle the problem of crime and to find the real causes, the root causes and as we did try to find the solutions,” said Dr. Douglas, who was critical of Prime Minister Harris’s recent appointment of a new Commissioner of Police and members of the High Command in acting positions on two years probation.
Dr. Douglas was further critical of Prime Minister Harris of stating publicly that the ‘buck for fighting crime stops with the Commissioner of Police’ and not with him (the Prime Minister) as Minister of National Security.
Dr. Douglas said crime continues to be the number one issue and until all of “our people, Government, Opposition and the NGO’s, who were so vocal (during his administration) get together, the problem is going to continue, because the Team Unity Government wrongly misled and deceived the people of St. Kitts and Nevis into believing that crime was a political matter and a matter only for the Labour Government and for Commissioner Walwyn.
“It was not a matter for them. They can fix it. They are now in government and have failed to fix it,” said Dr Douglas.
“It is part of the deception that Timothy Harris is practising on the people of St Kitts and Nevis,” he said.
Cleon Gilbert originally from Ottley’s but who resided in Cayon; and Kyle Allen of McKnight, Basseterre, were gunned down during a party following the funeral service of another young man who died of cancer. Three other people received gunshot wounds and were treated at the J. N France General Hospital.