Charlestown, Nevis (April 04, 2007)
The issue of greater authority for the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) over the police in Nevis, was top on the agenda at a luncheon meeting with Premier of Nevis the Hon. Joseph Parry, Federal Minister for National Security the Hon. Dwyer Astaphan and Junior Minister in the Premiers Ministry the Hon. Dwight Cozier. The meeting was held on April 03, 2007 at the Montpelier Plantation Inn to discuss matters of security as it related to Nevis.
In an interview with the Department of Information following the meeting, Premier Parry described the meeting as comprehensive and useful. As he outlined some matters discussed, he explained that it was the second such meeting the NIA had held with the Federal Minister, the first was held in Basseterre last year.
“We discussed how we could give more authority to the NIA in dealing with the police and we looked at a number of matters dealing with the police: how we will fund the Cotton Ground Police Station; the repairs we are doing on the Newcastle Police Station and some barracks in the Bath Hotel area for the police at Charlestown because they do not have good sleeping quarters.
“In addition to that, we were discussing patrols; increasing the police, providing motor cycles and bicycles and doing all the necessary things like bullet proof vests for the police. So it was a very comprehensive discussion, very, very useful and we will continue to have meetings until we achieve what we hope to achieve,” he said.According to Mr. Parry, both the Federal Government and the NIA have indicated their willingness to work together to reach some point mutually satisfactory to both sides. He said the NIA had given high priority to support the police, in an effort to minimise crime on the island.
“We in Nevis do believe that crime is of the highest priority to the Nevis Island Administration and we are making every attempt to reduce crime and to minimise crime on the island. We are working very closely with the Minister of National Security and the Federal Police officers, to ensure that we are successful in controlling and minimising crime,” he said.
Meantime, ahead of the meeting, Minister Astaphan expressed his appreciation for the NIA’s continued tenacity to work hand in hand with the Federal Government, to address what he termed “some very burning issues” which related to national security and the peace and prosperity which related to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
He gave his assurance to the people of Nevis, that he would do all he could to take care of the police stationed on Nevis.
“We will take the content of the meeting to the Prime Minister and the Federal Cabinet and I can assure the people of Nevis that we will do all in our power to get the amenities in place and to tool up the peace keeping resources of Nevis so that the entire Federation can rest comfortably in a safer security environment.
“We have challenges like everybody else does but we believe we are able to deal with them and we are certainly willing and today’s meeting is a symbol of the ability and the willingness to deal with those matters,” he said.
Mr. Astaphan was accompanied by Commissioner of Police Mr. Robert Jeffers, Superintendent Joseph Liburd head of the Nevis Police Division and Lt. Peter Sutton of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force.