BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - FOLLOWING the senseless murder of a young man during J’Ouvert activities, the Police and Defence Forces have sent a warning to those persons who cannot control themselves on Carnival Day.
In a joint media statement issued yesterday (Dec. 29) by the Police Force, it noted that the High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) and the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) met with the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee where the main topic discussed was the safety and security of revellers during the remaining events listed for Sugar Mas 51.
The stakeholders pledged to end the celebrations on a high note, and warned against bad behaviour and the wearing of masks beyond 6:00 p.m.
“We are hereby officially warning individuals who have difficulty participating in Carnival events within the confines of the law to stay at home. The Security Forces will be out in their numbers to remove elements of disruption to the peace from the activities. Officers and Soldiers work tirelessly throughout every carnival season, putting themselves out there to spare no effort to ensure law and order prevails,” the statement read.
It continued: “Acts of violence against members of the security forces will not be condoned and any acts of violence towards any individual, especially Police Officers and Soldiers, will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”
In a very strong warning, directed especially to those following Monday’s stabbing death, police said: “We use this opportunity to also send a stern warning to persons plotting to retaliate as a result of any incident that occurred previously. The Police are conducting their investigations and should be allowed to complete their work.”
The Federation has recorded a period of low crimes, especially homicides, and the law enforcement body would like to end the year on a positive note.
“Thousands have been anticipating the full return of Carnival and hundreds have come home or are visiting our shores to experience the annual festival. They should be allowed to revel in safe spaces as they have the right to do. Having said that, it is important to bear in mind that ensuring Carnival activities are incident-free is not only the job of the Police. Fighting crime is a shared responsibility between the Police and the community we serve. Everyone has a role to play,” police noted.
It is against that backdrop that they called for the public to assist in keeping Carnival safe by “maintaining a watchful eye for anything suspicious and to report such activities to the Police when you see them on patrol or by calling our crime hotline at 707. Doing so might help to prevent a crime from being committed or save someone’s life”.
Street activities for the 2022/2023 Carnival are slated for January 2 and 3.