Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 23, 2016 (RSCNPF): The Marijuana Eradication objective in “Operation Safe Streets” by the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force with support from our law enforcement partners; the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department and the Regional Security System(RSS) is being met.
The operation commenced in the early hours of Tuesday (September 20) with search teams operating on collected intelligence seizing and disrupting marijuana cultivation in several areas across St. Kitts and Nevis.
Four days into the operation, teams have visited ninety-two (92) sites under cultivation and uprooted and seized over 25,000 marijuana plants ranging in size from seedlings to over four feet.
Commenting on the eradication efforts, Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Crime Mr. Andre Mitchell said, “the marijuana trade (cultivation and sale) is a contributing factor to the gang violence seen in the Federation,” and added, “investigations into many of the incidents of murder and shootings suggest that rival gang protection of product and area were the factors.” ACP Mitchell noted, “by taking away one of the factors we hope to see a reduction in this type of violence.”
ACP Mitchell’s observation is supported by research, and in a recent publication, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the United States, John Walters said, “today’s research shows what too many families and communities have had to learn through painful experience.” He added, “….drug use isn’t a ‘lifestyle choice’ or an act of ‘personal expression;’ it is a public health, and, increasingly, a public safety dilemma.”
Superintendent(Ag) Travis Rogers, Divisional Commander ‘B’, said the estimated street value for this seizure is over $11,000,000 ECD.
“Operation Safe Streets” is a Police led law enforcement operation with the objectives of removing illegal firearms, ammunition, illegal drugs and instruments that can be used to commit crimes from our communities.