The Premier of Nevis, Hon Mark Brantley has assured home owners that his administration is currently putting in place ways of curbing youth anti-social behavior and to reduce crime on the island.
The Premier spoke at the Four Seasons annual Home Owners Association meeting held at the ballroom at the Four Season Resort on Tuesday February 6. He noted that his administration is making investments in the youth and said that the issue of crime will not be solved overnight.
“We are making and will continue to make considerable investment. I ask for patients from the public because I like to say this problem did not occur over night. It is a problem that really took us maybe about 30 years to get to where we are now and it is a problem that will clearly take time to change attitudes and change the perspective of some of these youngsters who at 17 and 18 are saying they have nothing to live for. So we need to change that,” he said.
He pointed out an initiative the government is undertaking in helping the youths to empower themselves. “We are doing various things. We are creating opportunities in some of the communities. Some of the kids are interested in farming so what we have done is that we are trying to create shade houses in areas where they can actually do their own farming,” he said.
“So we are doing these thing and we find that when we seek to empower them in their own communities they have an opportunity to earn, and that helps. Is not the only solution but that helps,” he said.
Previously the Premier announced that the issue of safety and security is of foremost importance. He said that there will be an expansion of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) programme beyond the environs of Charlestown, to ensure island-wide coverage.
“Additionally, it is a matter of deep concern that our conviction rate for heinous crimes is very low, as many of the perpetrators of these crimes are able to escape conviction. It is the view of many, that the underlying reason is that these crimes are not prosecuted by officials with the correct mix of legal and technical skills”
“Against this backdrop, my government shall seek to appoint a lawyer to work specifically with the Police Force in Nevis and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who will deal specifically with the prosecution of criminals,” Brantley said.
The federal crime statistics for 2017 showed a decrease in murder, manslaughter, wounding with intend, sexual offences. An increase in robberies, house breaking and gun possession compared to the previous year. 2017 saw the crime detection rate standing at just 39 percent.