Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 6, 2018 – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has not been forthcoming with the people of the Federation on the real reason for the presence of the RSS in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Days after telling the Nation the RSS forces are in St. Kitts and Nevis “due to a shortage of manpower,” Dr. Harris told a news conference in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; it was to prevent the number of murders rising beyond 23 in 2018.
Dr. Harris, who is on record as stating that “you will more quickly die in St. Kitts and Nevis than you die in Jamaica,’ told the press in Kingstown “when St. Kitts and Nevis begins to reach 20 and 23 murders, we know that it is absolutely necessary that we do something to buttress law enforcement within our country.” There has been 24 murders for the year so far.
In his broadcast to the nation on October 13, several days after word leaked that the RSS was coming, had arrived, were sworn in as special constables and already deployed on the ground; Dr. Harris never mentioned that preventing the number of murders escalating beyond 23 was the real reason for the RSS deployment.
“The High Command of the Police has advised that the Force would benefit from additional manpower at this time. The shortage of manpower affects the ability of the Police to properly execute their strategic plan and has prompted the call from them for the RSS to augment the number of security personnel on the ground,” Dr. Harris told the nation.
Responding to the media in St. Vincent, Dr. Harris who is also the Minister of National Security said the RSS was in St. Kitts and Nevis “in 2011 under the former (Labour Party) administration,” but never mentioned that he brought the RSS to St. Kitts and Nevis in 2016, since he took office in 2015.
On Monday, community activist, Curtis Crooke mounted a one-man demonstration outside the office of Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris calling for an end to his politicisation of crime, lying to the people on issues and the increasing threat to democracy.
There has been widespread criticism of the RSS and local law enforcement in incidences of brutality and excessive treatment of citizens.
Victims have spoken of beatings, manhandling and intimidation, the ramming a vehicle with a baby onboard, breaking up of domino tables and chairs and entering premises without showing appropriate search.
Business persons have also complained of St. Kitts and Nevis being seen as a ‘police state’ with police walking and driving around with big guns exposed.