DOUGLAS SAYS RSS UNNECESSARY IN SK By Sheena Brooks Undeterred by the public clamour for Prime Minister Hon. Denzil Douglas to call on the Regional Security Services to help combat the rampant gun-related crimes in the Federation, he has stated unequivocally that RSS presence is not required. Speaking on his live radio show ‘Ask the PM” this Tuesday, Douglas said although St. Kitts-Nevis had requested the assistance of RSS in the past, there was no such recent request made by his government. “Recently, we have not had any formal request of the Regional Security forces for troops to be here in tackling this particular and present crime wave that we”re having.”Douglas did however say that idea of requesting the RSS” presence in St. Kitts was one that had been contemplated and still has not been ruled out as an option. “It has been discussed at the highest level; at the level of the Heads of Government etcetera; it has been discussed at my Cabinet; it has been discussed at the level of the Police High Command and at the Command of the Joint Security Armed Forces as well. So it is definitely an area that the government continues to have as an option to exercise whenever it deems it to be absolutely necessary.”He commented that although some citizens opine now is the time to make the formal request of the RSS, the decision-makers had taken a position that the present gun-crime situation was one that could be controlled on a local level. “The situation when we last looked at it was one that we should be able to control ourselves especially since we would have to rely on the Regional Security Forces working with local constabulary forces to carry out the necessary operations.”The Prime Minister stated that calling in the RSS is a decision that would be arrived at after all other available options are exhausted. “At this moment we are still working on a number of options; a number of changes have been made. We still believe a lot of this crime – homicides in recent times- are gang-related. We”ve put in place an entire Anti-gang Unit within the Police Force; it has been properly structured … we”ve got an intelligence arm and also an enforcement arm and I think we”re looking at it to see if it will take the appropriate shape and do the appropriate work that it has been developed to do.”Douglas also spoke to the short term expectations of the citizenry, saying it takes time to develop the capacity and capability in this new regard. He also assured that if these additional policing arms were not successful and needed to be supplemented with external law enforcement bodies, his government “would not hesitate to take the appropriate decision to have the RSS coming into St. Kitts-Nevis”. With 12 homicides and multiple shooting incidents within a five-month span, opposition parties and average citizens have surmised that the call for regional help may come too late to prevent more bloodshed in the twin islands.
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