The arrival of more Regional Security Systems (RSS) personnel in St. Kitts on Saturday 20th October 2018 has spurred murmurs of disapproval, concern and fear from members of the Kittitian public, especially.
On October 13th, 2018, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris informed the country that RSS forces had begun arriving in the Federation since October 10th. He indicated very clearly that the regional response military organisation would continue to deploy personnel to St. Kitts-Nevis “…. in sufficient numbers to assist our ongoing efforts at ensuring citizen security and safety.” He also stated that RSS personnel had already been deployed throughout a number of communities.
A mere few days after the Prime Minister’s announcement, the public outcries and testimonies of forced entry and brutal unsolicited beatings at the hands and feet of RSS personnel started coming in. Persons testified to being severely beaten by RSS members despite having been unarmed and cooperative at the time of the encounter. In one instance, a young man recounted his and his family’s frightening encounter with the RSS who kicked down his door around 2-AM, violently awakening his girlfriend and his young child. The young man who testified that he has never been on the wrong side of the law in his life was then subjected to a vicious beating in front of his family who is still traumatised.
Several other incidents of this vicious nature have occurred in the first week of the RSS’ presence to the point where members of the general public are vehemently speaking out against this inhumane treatment.
Without a doubt, the brutality to which a number of our citizens and residents are being subjected to at the hands of the RSS is a matter of serious concern that the relevant authorities should address with haste. However, keeping in mind that the RSS is here to assist the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the government, it is most telling that the troops’ focus appears just as misguided and reactionary as the entire Ministry of National Security has been for the past nearly four years.
It is evident that Dr Harris’ claim of local law enforcement needing the extra manpower provided by the RSS in order to properly execute the crime-fighting strategies is bogus; even with the extra manpower, it is obvious that the most essential aspects of the crime-fighting strategies devised by the requisite authorities are sorely lacking.