STATEMENT BY ACTING PRIME MINISTER ON SHOOTING AT HOSPITAL
It falls to me today as acting prime minister to relay to the public that a tragic shooting incident occurred this morning at our main medical facility, the Joseph N France Hospital. While the details are yet emerging and our security forces are fully engaged in investigating this matter, this criminal activity at our main medical facility is of tremendous concern to this Unity government.
Just last week, we used the parliamentary process to introduce harsher penalties for the unlawful possession and use of firearms. The debate was rich and robust, but what emerged was a collective understanding that violent crime and, particularly gun crime, had become a cancer in our midst [that] has to be eradicated. Today is yet another stark reminder that violent crime committed wihy way in our fight against crime. Those bent on terrorizing the law-abiding citizens and residents of our country shall be confronted and they shall fail. As our prime minister has repeatedly stated, in any confrontation between law enforcement and criminality, law enforcement must prevail.
Today is a sad day for us and we are seeking to provide comfort to our staff at the JNF and to provide additional security there to ensure that acts such as these do not reoccur. I assure them that their safety and security, just as the safety and security of all our residents and citizens, is of paramount importance to this Government. We shall therefore move quickly to beef up security at JNF and at all government institutions throughout the federation. We shall also continue to install our island-wide CCTV coverage to allow our greater reliance on technology in our fight against crime. We ask the public to continue to support these efforts as we grapple with this decades old cancer of violent crime.
I end by expressing my deep condolences to the family of 31-year-old Darnell Govia, and assure them that we shall leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice. In this regard, I beseech the public to assist the police with [its] investigations. If you see something, say something. Let us fight this cancer of crime together.
May God continue to bless St. Kitts and Nevis.