NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 06, 2023) – Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Leader of the Opposition in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly, says while the recent spate of homicides in the Federation is alarming, the issue of crime should not be politicized.
In his capacity as Opposition Leader, Hon. Brantley issued a statement on the upsurge in violent crime following a double homicide that occurred on St. Kitts on June 05.
“Fifteen homicides already by June 2023 suggests that we are on a most dangerous and destabilizing path.
“It has become customary that when faced with increased criminality in our society, the Opposition resorts immediately to attacking and blaming the government of the day. It is an approach which has yielded and continues to yield no benefit. Harsh lessons of the past should teach us that seeking to politicize crime does nothing but embolden the criminals while diverting critical attention away from finding solutions.”
He said however that with violent crime once again becoming a clear and present danger to the sustainable development of St. Kitts and Nevis, it is the responsibility of the Government to implement the necessary policy prescriptions to arrest the situation.
“Crime is not a government problem. Crime is not an Opposition problem. Crime is not a political party problem. Crime is an all-of-society problem. If unchecked, it can derail all the progress we have made as a proud Nation and rend asunder our plans for shared prosperity and a sustainable future. We do not have the luxury of time or the energy for further finger-pointing and recrimination. It is now time for us to sit together and find solutions.
“This is not to suggest that the Government should not take responsibility, for at the end of the day it is the Government which must implement the necessary policy prescriptions to solve this problem…Crime has been politicized by us all for far too long. It is time now for us to exert that same energy in finding solutions.”
Pledging the support and willingness of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led Opposition to engage and to assist, Hon. Brantley has called on Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, to urgently convene a symposium of relevant stakeholders to adopt an “all-of-society approach to tackling this problem once and for all”.
He expressed the view that right-thinking members of society should be able to come together to fashion workable solutions to this perennial problem.
“I believe…the time has come for all who truly love this country to set our differences aside and unite in the face of this scourge of crime and criminality. Crime is a social problem. The victims of crime are from our communities. They are our family and friends. The criminals are also from our communities. They too are our family and friends. We must therefore come together as a people and shoulder our shared responsibility to find solutions.”
The Honourable Premier extended deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the latest victims of violence and those who tragically succumbed in the past.