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St. Kitts and Nevis: Former Deputy Prime Minister concerned over upsurge in gun violence


by Devonne Cornelius

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Hon. Shawn Richards, former Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, is expressing concern over the number of homicides recorded in the country to date.

Richards was speaking during a live stream on the Facebook page of the People’s Action Movement on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

“If you look at April and we are at nine…if the trend continues for the next four months, then you’re up to 18, and then for the next four months, you add nine to that, that’s 27, and so this isn’t a trend that we want. We want to move away from this trend. The citizens of this country must feel safe in the country…”

Nine people have been murdered in St. Kitts and Nevis from January 11 to April 4, 2023. Eight of these homicides are from gun violence, and one is from a stabbing incident.

Richards, who is the leader of the PAM, said, “we are a principled party, and we have always stood firm on our convictions, and one of our convictions is that the government must lead in terms of safety and security of citizens.”

Richards added: On the other hand, there are some persons who probably did not believe, but now you’re seeing it unfold before your very eyes, the drastic increase in the number of homicides. We said to you that the government, the labour party isn’t serious about the safety and security of the citizens of this country, and when you had labour, high crime in the country and now crime once more is escalating, and so we are concerned.”

The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, in a statement on April 04, 2023, addressed the crime situation in the country. The statement said, “it is with great concern that we address the recent upsurge in gun violence that has resulted in the tragic loss of lives. The safety and wellbeing of our residents are of utmost importance, and we are taking all necessary measures to address this situation.

In collaboration with our National Security agencies, the police have launched a full-scale extended special operation named Operation Reassurance to contain and suppress the violence. This operation is designed to specifically target those who are perpetrating these heinous acts and to bring them to justice. It will be multi-dimensional and jointly executed by the security forces to achieve our operational objectives.” 


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