NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS -- The following is a statement by Hon. Vance Amory, Premier of Nevis and Minister responsible of Security in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on April 18, 2017, on the death of Morella Webbe of Cotton Ground.
The latest shooting in Cotton Ground, has been a great cause of concern to the Nevis island Administration (NIA) and to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, generally, especially as we have seen the loss of another young person Ms. Morella Webbe.
This tragic loss of life and this act of criminality and wanton waste of our human resource has to be stopped.
The last time I spoke to you, I warned about reprisals at the shooting death of one Randell Chapman. Is this a case of that reprisal? I do not know. The Police will have to determine that. However, what I do know, is that the image of the country of Nevis and St. Kitts and Nevis is being tarnished with every incident of this type.
I know I have appealed to all the people in this country – parents, leaders in the community and anyone who knows anyone who is committing or is about to commit a crime or anyone who is in possession of guns or knives which could lead to criminal activity - I make this appeal again and I do so because we are now faced with another traumatic experience and there is no excuse, as far as I am concerned, for us to continue down this path.
I have, discussed again, with the Police High Command. We have discussed their strategy and their tactics in dealing with the fight against crime. I intend to meet with the High Command here in Nevis, again, to look at ways in which we can intensify the fight against criminal activity here in Nevis.
We want our country to remain a place where people can feel comfortable to come. We want our country to be a place where we can feel at peace and we can feel safe and secure in our homes or on the streets.
I'm not here trying to make any excuse because the matter of criminality and crime and violence, is the business of everyone. It is not a party political issue and whatever may have been said in the past in respect of any responsible party or responsible persons to spearhead the fight against crime, this now, has reached the point where every single one of us has to assume that responsibility.
It is now left for me, to express my condolence to the family of the young lady whose life was snatched away from her.
This may be just pure expression of sympathy. It will not bring back that life. It will not remove the scar of the trauma nor will it remove the fear which people feel.
However, I appeal to all those who intend or have an intention of engaging in any reprisal, not to even consider it.
We will give the police the direction to take certain very serious steps to deal with this matter. I will not divulge what those steps are but I promise you, that those decisions will be very, very stringent and we will not allow the police to rest and we will not allow anyone, who is suspected of committing crimes, to rest.
We cannot take any more of this and my fellow citizens, let us see this act of criminality for what it is. It is destroying the good name of our country and we cannot allow that to happen. I spoke to you last time and said that when actions like these happen, people might want to reconsider their investments. They may want to reconsider visiting but I do know Nevis is by and large a place of peace. A place where we can feel secure but we need to know, that there will not be any re-occurrence of this dastardly type of action.
Again, I extend to all the families who have suffered and who are suffering and I ask anyone who knows any information, to pass it on to the police so they can take action to arrest the persons and bring them to justice swiftly.
This is my appeal to all of us and pray to God that we do not have a recurrence of this type of action again for this year.