Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sun at Sandy Bank & Final Crime Thoughts

Well, after a friend of mine told me he had just looked at our year-old sailing video and loved it, I thought I'd look at it again too and couldn't believe how tan we were! Holy crap! So I spent 3 hours at the pool yesterday (Michael had to work) and actually got slightly sunburned. Today we both hit Sandy Bank. With the high winter winds and waves the past couple of months the beach has been nonexistent, but it's back. Yippee!!

Did you notice that big building in the upper right hand corner? That's the new Beach Club. It should be done in the next couple of months and will be open for lunch. I love the undulating roof.

Its completion got a bit behind schedule when this really cool coral-like material turned out be a pain in the butt to work with.

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but it's got shells and other fossil-looking type things in it. Once it's done, I think the frustration will soon be forgotten.

The place will also have a pool with quite the view.

Here it is from the beach.

Even with the changes, I just love this beach and am glad we're able to hang out there again. Look at this water!! Michael got in, but I won't be doing any such thing until the temp is up a few more degrees.

It really was a great weekend and winter overall. Once the rain finally stopped in December, the humidity went down, the temps have been in the 70s, and even the mosquitoes have cut us a break. This will soon be a-changing, so we want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the sticky, buggy summer is upon us.

Based on the response I received about the crime issue, I thought I'd make one more statement on it. I appreciate all the input. The police most certainly would like as much as help as we can give them and request that we contact any suspicious activity to the following:

Royal St. Kitts & Nevis Police Force
Force Headquarters
Cayon Street
St. Kitts

Emergency: 911
Anonymous Hotline: 707
Headquarters: 869-465-2241
Fax: 869-465-7078

Most wanted:

That said, the police/ministers feel that crime on the island is being "sensationalized" and "politicized" per direct comments to blog readers and per newspaper articles. I'm trying to figure out exactly what's being sensationalized. Just reporting crime, like the bus holdup, shootings, and the myriad of business/truck robberies last year is not sensationalizing anything. Plenty has gone under the radar. No one reported the 5 break-ins in one year that happened to a single woman in Half Moon Bay Villas. As a matter of fact Mr. Douglas himself simply pointed out to her that she hadn't been injured had she? Another pal has been hit 3 times in the Half Moon Bay area in 6 months, one time with the boneheads breaking through his glass block window. Heard about that? Still no report on the carjacking last weekend, nor was there ever a peep made regarding an armed robbery/carjacking that happened down on the peninsula last year. Students are targeted so often that they've all had to put lojack-type software in their laptops for when they're eventually stolen. I could go on and on and on and on about violence and theft that have happened to not only several people/businesses, but people several times...none of it reported to the public. If we didn't go out and talk to business owners and islanders, we wouldn't know squat about what's going on. So again, what exactly is being sensationalized? If anything, things are being kept too much on the down-low because we're afraid of people over-reacting. I understand this concern, which is why I've kept pretty quiet myself, but this gives the government and the police a false sense of a job well done and provides absolutely no incentive to actually tackle the problem. Shoot, at this point, I'd settle for a simple acknowledgment of the issue.

I would love people to call in and report suspicious activity (and we should), but look at not only the crook-catching rate on this island, but the conviction rate. People are released on lack of evidence all the time. It's appalling. Most people know that whoever they rat out is likely to stay as free as a bird, so who's going to chance retaliation? It's a small island, not a lot of places to hide (well, unless you're a criminal apparently).

I know that crime is everywhere. The difference is that there are also millions of people in most other cities/countries, so a crime usually is truly random (or caused by someone the victim knows). That's not true here. Certain people/businesses and areas are being targeted by a select few hooligans and there's no reason that such a thing should be happening on an island with this small of a population. Plus, in other cities, people are, in fact, warned of potential crime activity and locations - pick pockets in Paris, for example. Do people avoid Paris? No, but I sure as heck watched my $ when I was there and knew about the various tricks used (the "accidental" bump and newspaper over the watch). There's nothing "sensational" about giving people a heads up. If gang bangers are going to use the parking area of The Strip to conduct nasty acts against innocent people while they initiate themselves into a world of delinquency, I think we have a right to know that.

We'll just have to watch each others backs, because it seems the government and police are going to just watch theirs. Note to police - if you want to catch criminals then you have to actually establish a presence in the areas crime is occurring. We have yet to see you anywhere near The Strip at night and I'm sure there are plenty of neighborhoods throughout the island that would be happy to see an occasional patrol. An ounce of prevention and all that. Just saying...

So, I'll let it go at that. Much of the crime involves nonviolent theft, and most of that has not been aimed at tourists until recently. I have put a new page called Crime Info up on the right-hand side sidebar and will put the police contact info on there so it's available all the time. You'll also be able to comment on that page for others to see. The Forum page can be used for debate as well. I'd prefer not to get into a bunch of mudslinging there (that's what SKNList's Yahoo forum is for - sheesh), but if police want to get the word out on anything, if victims want to warn others, or others have suggestions/opinions they want to share, then you now have an outlet.

There's a lot of good in St. Kitts, so I'd rather the main blog portion be about what those things are. Like...