by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Inspector Rosemarie Isles Joseph created a series of Explorer Community Youth Clubs that provide a safe space for children and young people at risk of gang violence and crime.
The first club was set up in 2017 in the Molineux and Phillips neighbourhoods. Thirteen Explorers Clubs are now established in different communities with an approximate membership of 1400 children in St. Kitts.
Despite the club’s success, video making the rounds on social media suggests the community initiative is under threat.
An officer of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force attached to the Explorer’s Club, Fernando McSheene, posted a video on social media alleging attempts by the “powers that be to frustrate and stifle the success of the explorers and community policing programmes”.
Audio of the Creator of the club, Inspector Isles, also made the rounds where she expressed grievances over the treatment of the Officers of the Explorers Clubs, and the children that benefit from the community work the organisation does.
In response to the outcry from the officers, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force released a statement on May 11 decrying the claims made by officers that there are attempts to “frustrate and stifle” the work of the Club.
The statement reads:
“The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) is aware of a ludicrous allegation circulating concerning the status of the Explorer’s Club (EC).
The Force staunchly refutes the absurdity and decries the malicious mind responsible for crafting such nonsense.
The RSCNPF has most recently launched an overarching organisation improvement strategy.
The plan is aimed at elevating the standard of policing nationwide.
To this end, citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis will readily observe positive changes in the types and styles of the Force’s community policing operations in the coming months.
One such new community policing initiative that has been in progress for approximately two (2) weeks is the distribution of brochures at traffic stops and vehicle checkpoints.
The brochures are printed with vital general safety and traffic tips from which everyone can benefit.
Thus far, the initiative has been exceptionally well received by the public and hailed as a welcome change in police-civilian relations.
Under the leadership of Commissioner of Police James Sutton, community policing and engagement is receiving keen attention as its status is pivotal to the overall success of the Force’s operations.
In order to strengthen law enforcement operations and improve community policing and engagement, all areas of society must be adequately attended to.
The Explorer’s Club is a crucial aspect of community policing and engagement as it caters to our youth.
By its very definition, the continued function of the Club is a given.
The RSCNPF is discouraging the public from engaging in the creation and dissemination of blatant malarkey.
Such false sentiments are intended to manipulate negative reactions from the general public.
Persons should remember that free speech brings in tow a personal, professional, and a legal responsibility for the actions engendered by carelessly typed or spoken words.
For this reason, the Force continues to encourage persons to seek legal and healthy outlets via which they can resolve conflicts and free themselves of life’s occasional frustrations.”
Since the statement from the Police, an image of Officer McSheene’s Facebook page began circulating. It stated that he was transferred from the Explorer’s Club for failing to retract his earlier statements.
WINN could not corroborate the authenticity of the circulating picture after checking the Officer’s Facebook page.
However, on McSheene’s Facebook page were several posts on the work the Explorer’s Club has been doing in the community, including a short film about bullying.
More on this as information becomes available.