By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-Commissioner of Police in St. Kitts and Nevis Ian Queeley has disclosed that multiple illegal firearms removed from the streets in the Federation have been linked to homicides that have taken place.
Mr. Queeley, speaking at a Prime Minister’s press conference, said there are at least five cases where guns that were picked up off of the street were involved in homicides.
“As a matter of fact there is one instance one fire arm is connected to four or five homicides and that is because of the acquisition of the comparison microscope that we got last year and we were able to match those rounds,” he said.
He added that the fire arms that were removed off the street are analysed for forensics and if there is a connection they will proceed.
“If that firearm is picked up from an individual then we moved to the necessary step of prosecution.”
Police removed 21 Illegal firearms from the communities in 2015 and removed 36 in 2016. Thay have already confiscated three for the 2017 thus far,
Also speaking to the issue of crime at the press conference Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris stated the incidents of gun related homicides is a matter of ongoing engagements between the police force and law enforcement agencies at the regional and international levels.
“The government intends to step up the level of engagement and we have therefore invited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become further involved in these discussions with our allies.”
The Minister of National Security added that because of the porous nature of the borders the federation it is important to safeguard that the coast and have cooperation using equipment and intelligence from neighbouring islands to assist in the fight of crime.
“Guns are not manufactured here and the fact that they continue to be available is a matter of concern so we are going to look forth within and without in order to bring solution to these problems.”
He warned that in 2017 that they expect to wage a more aggressive campaign to reduce violent activity and crime generally in the Federation.
“Our citizens will experience expanded stop and searches in known hotspots. The vehicle checkpoints will continue. We understand from time to time they will create some inconvenience, but for the majority of people this is a small price to pay to save lives and abort and disrupt criminals,” he said.
Dr. Harris was also hopeful that the large investmen made in crime fighting through the sourcing of major technological equipment such as drones and closed circuit television, would make serious in roads.
“We expect that we will begin to turn the tide on the upsurge of violent crimes and homicides in particular and that is why in 2016 and again in 2017, we gave National Security the largest allotment ever since the creation of that ministry,” he said.