The Premier was speaking during a ceremony where the Four Seasons Home Owners Foundation donated four vehicles to the Nevis division of the Royal St. Kitts and Nevis Police Force.
“I know sometimes you have been blamed for many things you are not responsible for. The problem that we have is not of your own making and it is not a lack of interest why we have these difficulties. Many of these problems surfaced many years ago and they were not addressed. Some of these problems have to do with parents not being able to control their children and some parents having to do two jobs. Just the other night at the new centre (Nevis Performing Arts Centre) children were popping gums, nobody did anything about it, although the person in charge said quite clearly at the very beginning that no gum should be inside. These are the kind of problems we have. It starts with a little bad discipline and it grows until the child reaches age 16 and then the child is out of control and we blame everybody else after that including the police.”
The Premier thanked the Four Seasons Home Owners Foundation and private donors for the generous donation of vehicles to the police force. “I am very pleased today that we have this contribution from home owners in the form of three vehicles to assist police here on Nevis on carrying on their duties. I would like to congratulate the police force for the hard work they have done over the years and especially the great efforts they have made over the past three years to try to bring crime under control,” he said.
He said crime exists in all societies. “Whenever you have people you have crime.” He said the Four Seasons gesture was a clear indication to the police officers that the community is working closely with the force. He said in the past the police were viewed as aliens; “as if they are only needed in a time of a crisis. The example has been set by the Foundation and I hope other persons, visitors, expatriates will also come forward and make their contribution.”
He appealed to Nevisians to put their support behind the police. He said the recent visit by the Police Commissioner to Rawlins Village was a positive gesture. The Premier said the Commissioner’s interactive forum at the Brown Hill Community Centre was also positively received as 70 persons participated.
He told the Police to emulate the Police Commissioner, “This is what the Police have to do even if the community sometimes seems hostile or indifferent - reach out to them. Go and engage them and you will find over the time, people will also engage you.”
“I am satisfied that you are under good leadership. I want to appeal to the police that like is like this. When people go and when people come and there are changes, these are always difficulties. Nobody is comfortable with change. Nobody likes change. It took me a long time before I touched a computer,” the Premier said and added that his daughter introduced computer skills to him when she was 14. The Premier said he had shied away from accepting the new technology to avoid embarrassing himself. “I did not want to embarrass myself and that is what change is all about. You have some changes at the top and they bring you ideas.”