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Video: Address to the Nation on the Upsurge in Violent Crime Activity in St.Kitts and Nevis by Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris, Leader of the People’s Labour Party

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Published 7 June 2023


Address to the Nation on the Upsurge in Violent Crime Activity in St.Kitts and Nevis by Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris, Leader of the People’s Labour Party

WFellow Citizens and Residents:
I address you as Leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) with a deep sense of sadness, as our communities around our beloved Federation reel under the shocking news of a double murder yesterday, Monday, and another two (2) murders today.

Yesterday’s double murder and today’s two (2) murders – all in broad daylight – are scary, cold and barbaric acts that cause all of us to shudder. We extend our most sincere sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues who are mourning these tragic losses. Any of us – in fact, all of us – are vulnerable, given these frequent murderous acts. Human life is a precious gift from the Almighty. We cannot give life, and therefore we have no right to take life away. Let us always remember that every life is valuable, and that the death of one man diminishes the life of the rest of us.

The recent upsurge in violent crime has brought a deeper sense of insecurity, fear, and hopelessness among our people of this beloved Country. The data on violent crime in the Federation clearly illustrates that there have been 23 murders in the Federation since Dr Drew assumed office as Prime Minister on August 5, 2022 – which was just 10 months ago. Of that number, 16 of these murders have taken place in just under six (6) months. This is not acceptable, having regard to the significantly lower levels of homicides that preceded the new government. It is abundantly clear to many in our Federation that the Dr Terrance Drew administration is failing miserably in keeping our people safe.
The single most Important duty of any government is to keep the citizens and residents safe. This solemn obligation for the maintenance of peace and public safety is an issue on which no one should compromise, and for which no one should make excuses.
The Peoples Labour Party has also taken notice of the frightening reality that the Police seem unable to assure residents of their ability to curb the vicious, murderous onslaughts. We are going backwards in our maintenance of law and order. We were once there. We also cannot forget that prudent leadership, the innovative programmes such as the Peace Programme, morale boosting initiatives, our island-wide CCTV buildout, our modern forensic lab, strong support for law enforcement et cetera over the last 7 years – prior to August 5th 2022 – saw murders reduced to historic lows, lives saved, and a tangible sense of security and peace return to our collective benefit.
The Incompetence of the current regime and its undermining of public confidence in the agencies of law and order have reversed hard won gains. The silence of the Cabinet has been deafening and unsettling. The members of Cabinet appear clueless as to how to govern. Sadly, it is we, the people, who are at risk. It does not have to be this way. We corrected this criminal scourge before and we must do so again.
The PLP notes that finally, after some 23 murders since taking office 10 months ago – with the last 16 of these murders occurring within the past 6 months – that the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security finally saw the need to address the Nation today on the issue of violent crime and the unacceptably high murder rate currently plaguing our Country. Regrettably there was no hope, no inspiration. The measures hardly convinced anyone that this inexperienced government understands the gravity of the crisis we face. Given their abject failure so far we cannot rely on the Drew administration to keep us safe. I call on those who perpetrate crime to seek peace and pursue it. I encourage you to utilize peaceful methods to resolve your conflicts.
The PL” and I stand ready to help this government deal with the security crisis. The Government needs lots of help. For the good of our country, we hope that it will seek it.
May God Bless us All! Good evening.

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