By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-“The crime is way too high we need to cut it.” That was one of the many chants hundreds of primary and high school students as they participated in an anti-crime rally dubbed Project Stop and think Rally in an effort to send a message to the youth as part of their crime fighting efforts
Sporting bright green shirts with the label “Stop and think before you proceed” the hundreds of Students as well as Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Timothy Harris, Nevis’ Premier Vance Amory, Crime Reduction Specialist and International Social Skills Consultant, Dr. NealsChitan as well as Ministry of education officials marched through the streets of Basseterre accompanied with the sounds of Grand Masters Band, a marching band and a hi-fi system.
Speaking at a rally at independence square following the march William Vincent Hodge permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education urged the student to focus on improving the quality of their lives.
When we are in a society that is being marred by crime you are not going to be able to do that well and so as the future of our nation…we are asking you to begin to send a message loud and clear…that we are on the move to making St. Kitts and Nevis a crime free society.
He stated that the adults and leaders in society cannot reduce the crime by themselves and urged them to “stop and think before they proceed.”
“In fact that is something I would like for you to think of on a daily basis, to have those words engrained in your minds…that is one of the weaknesses of us as humans and even we as adults are sometimes guilty of not stopping and thinking before we proceed.”
He reminded the students that they were in control of their behaviours and have the power to make decisions in handling situations.
Also delivering remarks was Premier Amory who stated that the march and rally signals a new direction for the Federation.
Amory added that though it may be difficult to wipe out bad behaviour stated that if one applies themselves to being good it can make a big difference.
“It makes you as a person who behaves well much more comfortable with yourself and makes you more comfortable around other people.”
He however indicated that it requires every person to begin to make that effort and to display good behaviour at all times.
“If each one decided that if he or she will do the right thing at all times we will have no time or place for anti-social behaviour we see so often display in our country.”
Amory reminded the students that they are not too you learn the spirits of forgiveness and tolerance.
Spirit of stopping and thinking before you do anything whatsoever…because if you stop and think and do the right thing all is well. So this mantra that has been developed must form part of our everyday thinking.”
He urged that it is not a sign of weakness if one does not react and wait until the heat of the moment passes.
Prime Minister Harris stated that the imitative forms part of the government’s goal to make St. Kitts and Nevis the safest place to live.
“We as a government are prepared to bring all the resources as we can to ensure the fulfilment of this reasonable expectation.”
Dr. Harris stated that he was pleased to mobilized hundreds of students in supports of the agenda of public safety.
“Violence and crime impact and affect all in society not just the victims and therefore it requires the concerted effort of all of us to resolve and ensure the safety and security of our country.”
The Prime Minister also hailed Dr. Chitan for his expertise and knowledge imparted on the students during his time in the federation.
They are the fulcrum the heartbeat of all of the activities of young people. In our schools at Primary and secondary level are over 10,000 of our citizens. That is a significant number that represents one quarter of the population.
He added that if a difference could be made in the schools they will go into the root of the problem and ensuring they will be better place.
A similar rally also took place on Thursday in Nevis.