Former COP CG Walwyn highlights programmes initiated
Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 4, 2018 – Former Commissioner of Police, Dr. CG Walwyn has been speaking about several initiatives he introduced during his tenure as head of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.A guest on “Ask the Leader,” Dr. Walwyn, spoke of the new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), the Special Victims Unit and the Mentoring Advising Guiding Instructing Children (MAGIC) programme.
“The AFIS machine was put in place to capture fingerprints and build a data base. Prior to 2012 there was no electronic fingerprint system in place. Selected officers were trained and assigned the task of collecting and identifying latent fingerprints recovered from crime scenes,” said Dr. Walwyn, pointing out that since the 2012-2014 Strategic Planning Initiative, “there had been an increase in arrests by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) for burglaries based on the proper identification of persons who committed those acts through the use of trained Scenes of Crime Personnel and the AFIS machine.”
“The Special Victims Unit (SVU) was created because there was police practice not to treat domestic crimes and crimes against children as a priority. Training was requested from the United States to finance the training of a new unit whose sole responsibility was to investigate and prosecute crime against women and children. The Unit had four female investigators and one male investigator, two sergeants, one corporal, four constables, and they were supervised by the Inspector of the Criminal Investigation Division,” Dr. Walwyn disclosed in the interview via telephone from his home in Orlando, Florida.
The St. Kitts-born former COP noted that since the inception of the Unit, there had been a marked increase in the reporting of domestic violence and sexual molestation of children.
“The victims now feel confident that their cases are being investigated. There had been marked increases in the number of court convictions. Some of the most significant have yielded sentencing from 15-24 years in prison. Another measurable objective of the 2011 to 2014 strategic plan,” he said.
He said prior to 2012, there were signs of violence in the schools as children were being influenced when they got to the high schools to commit acts that were unlawful either by becoming initiated in gangs, or succumbing to peer pressure.
“In 2012 there was an attack on a student within weeks of school convening in January 2012. To deter the violence, police officers were placed at the school.. In an effort to curb the in-school violence, many measures were put in place to save the lives of our children and increase the safety and security of the schools. Beginning in January 2012, for the first two weeks of the year, police officers were placed in the Sandy Point High School,” Dr. Walwyn told listeners.
He said the Mentoring Advising Guiding Instructing Children (MAGIC) programme that was created by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (Orlando, Florida), and used in the Orange County Public Schools, was introduced into the public schools in the Federation with the assistance of Dr. Esdaille and Mr. Osmond Petty.
“The Orange County Sheriff’s Office provided an instructor to come to the Federation and train 10 police officers who had an interest in the welfare of the children of the Federation. The MAGIC Programme teaches the children alternatives to drugs, gangs, and guns. There had been a dramatic reduction of in-school violence in our schools as a result of this programme,” said Dr. Walwyn.
He said the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force had recognised that it cannot arrest its way out of juvenile delinquency and fully supported the MAGIC Programme as an alternate means of intervention and crime prevention.
He said a new programme was to be introduced called Teens and Police Service (TAPS), where local police officers were to teach in the high schools of the Federation.
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