By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-The Commissioner and Police Ian Queeley and Opposition Senator and Former Government Minister Nigel Cary have been engaged in a well-publicized war of words after the politician alleged that police had been planting guns to make it seem they are removing them thus ,making head way in crime fighting initiatives.
Last week on local radio Senator Carty made the allegations stating that the police were “themselves planting guns, planting weapons in places and then claiming that they are new find of weapons to give the public the impression that the police and the Government are in some way making headway in relation to the fight on crime.”
Carty added that there are criminal minds in the Police Force and Government who are behind the planning and execution of the actions.
“It is very disheartening to right-thinking citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis that when we think we should be able to trust our police officers, that they are in fact the ones planting some of these weapons and then going and picking them up and claiming that they have had success in taking guns off the street.”
Carty’s allegation then prompted a response from Commissioner Queeley who in a national address described the Senator’s accusations as “disappointing.”
“The High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force at this time registers its strong disappointment at comments made in the broadcast media by a Federal Parliamentarian, the Honourable Nigel Carty, an Opposition Senator in the Federal Parliament.”
The head of the police force stated that the organization he leads has recently been successful in removing a number illegal firearms from the communities.
“Rather than support and encourage our officers to continue their vigilance in the fight against crime, a few persons have used the media to question and bring discredit to the validity of these results.”
He then labelled Senator Carty’s statement “as untrue, without merit or foundation.”
“Further, the remarks made by Senator Carty against the dedicated men and women of the Police Service can only be described as irresponsible calculated to erode and undermine the herculean efforts of the Police Service to ensure public safety. It is unfortunate, that Senator Carty, whose responsibility as a parliamentarian is to uphold the law, and the preservation of the same, would engage in this type of behaviour.”
Queeley added that it was Senator’s Carty duty as citizen, and as a Parliamentarian, to report to the police any information or evidence regarding criminal wrong doing by any resident including members of the police force.
Carty then made another public condemning, this time singling out the Queeley for his response to his allegations.
“The Commissioner of Police therefore, in response to my allegation ought to have set about to get to the bottom of the matter rather than appearing to be dismissive of the issue. His dismissal of the issue may very well embolden the offenders.”
For 2016 the police have indicated they had removed 35 illegal firearms off the street which has already surpassed the amount removed in 2015.