By Loshaun Dixon
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party has called for the empowerment of young people in efforts to deal with the crime situation in St. Kitts and Nevis
Labour Parliamentarian the Hon. Konris Maynard said he believes the authorities are not engaged enough with young people or those predisposed to commit such crime.
He said during the last Labour Administration there was an intentional effort to engage youth understand them and give them an opportunity to see a positive future.
“A number of youth feel there is no empowerment for youth and nowhere for them to go, they feel left out and left to their own devices,” Maynard explained. “This is compounded by a shrinking economy, in such situations we should never excuse such behaviour. When someone is financially squeezed, we see an increased in robberies. If the economy is doing well and people have money you see robberies decreasing.”
Maynard said clear leadership is necessary.
“When we point to crime, leaders have to show they care. A number of groups are doing meaningful things. In our constituency we encourage young men and women to stay away from becoming involved in crime.”
Maynard slammed the government, saying that there is no push from to solve the problem.
“We have not had a national address from the Prime Minister in months regarding crime,” Maynard said.
Maynard highlighted their plans if they are returned to office.
“We have to get back to basics… We cannot look at just putting a bandage or a plaster on a serious issue. The government boasts about spending a lot of money in the Ministry of National Security, the most in history, but that has resulted in the largest incidence of crime in history.
“It’s not sufficient to throw money at the issue. It is about getting back to the communities, going back to the start. We can’t do this with our young men when they are 19 and 18 and have already been developed…we have to start much sooner,” Maynard said.
He called for all stakeholders to become involved and address the issue.
“It will not be helpful when a government is trying to do something has an opposition who is out there bad talking everything the government is doing for political gain. A long time ago we said such issues cannot be solved by one entity or one part of society alone. It will require a unified effort by the government, the opposition, civil society, families, church and schools. Success requires an all=in approach.”
The Labour Party has also called for the government to involve the opposition more in the crime fighting efforts.
Recently, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris asked Opposition Leader, Dr. Denzil Douglas, to be more responsible with his rhetoric, referencing an occasion in which Dr. Douglas, openly professed to be a master of incitement during a meeting in Cayon.
Dr. Harris challenged the genuineness of Dr. Douglas’ concerns for addressing the crime situation in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“A stone’s throw from where Denzil Douglas occasionally lives in St. Paul’s is the St. Paul’s Police Station,” Harris pointed out. “Denzil Douglas allowed the St. Paul’s Police Station to go the dogs…unfit for performance. We had to close it down to save the lives of the police officers there.”
Prime Minister Harris disclosed that his Team Unity-led administration has undoubtedly spared no expense in its attempt to preserve the safety and security of the citizens, residents and visitors to the twin island Federation.
“Every area of engagement—transportation, science and technology, a forensic lab, vehicles, protective armour for law enforcement—we have always provided that support. The support has been tangible where we put our money where our mouths are and it has been legislative in which the Attorney General has brought the requisite legislation to the Parliament for debate and passage, and we have to ensure then that having done all of these things the country is placed in a better position than it ever has been,”