BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – IN keeping with its mandate of increasing its community engagement efforts, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force has upped the ante in fostering relationships with various schools and communities in the Basseterre area.
According to a police press release, Detectives from the CID have been frequently visiting Greenlands in order to know and introduce themselves to residents of that community.
The Detectives also used the opportunity to distribute crime tips and share information with those residents on how to better secure their premises.
Members of the CID had appeared on a recently-held ‘Policing With You’ programme, aired on ZIZ, to inform the public about their efforts.
The programme was hosted by the Head of the CID, Inspector James Francis, who was joined by team members Sergeant Elvin Browne, Sergeant Valon Hodge and Corporal Andrea Battice.
In providing an explanation for the initiative, Corporal Battice said: “We have adopted Greenlands, but we have also branched out to other areas where we might be seeing an increase of break-ins and burglaries. And in doing so, we go out and we speak to the residents and we find out what are the problems they might be having…and we try and work with them, and we do a lot of patrols in the area…”
As a result of the headway they made in Greenlands, the team has included the areas of Taylor’s Village and Bird Rock in their outreach plans for the final quarter of the year.
The CID is also including schools as its members had visited Basseterre High School to speak with students about self-discipline earlier this month.
According to Inspector Francis, Basseterre High School was the first learning institution to participate in the initiative, but the department has made arrangements with Washington Archibald High School, Advanced Vocational and Educational Center (AVEC) and several other primary schools in Basseterre.
“In spite of our work load, we have made the sacrifice to actually incorporate community policing in our extensive schedule…It is a lot of work but, however, we incorporate it because we see the importance of incorporating that aspect of policing in the Federation because it really helps us to actually curb crime,” explained Sergeant Hodge.
In his explanatory contribution to the initiative, Sergeant Browne said, “Gone are the days when the public would only see the police when something happens…We have decided that we should do away with that type of policing and engage the public and be a friend to the public. I believe in that way we will be getting more cooperation and assistance from the public.”
Rolling out the initiative had its challenges, and the main one, as Corporal Battice explained, was getting through to some residents who were hesitant to speak with the police.
“I could recall when I started in Greenlands, [the] first time, I had some cold shoulders. Persons weren’t willing to speak to the police, but because we make it an every-week thing…I think that they are coming around. They see that we are serious,” Corporal Battice said, adding that “when we come around, embrace us. We only have good intentions.”
The CID is responsible for investigating all robberies, home invasions, larcenies, fraud and other felonies. It is just one of the departments in the RSCNPF that have been executing community policing activities as part of the 2019 Policing Plan.