Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 14, 2010 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis intends to tackle crime on several fronts to ensure the twin-island federation remains a country where the citizens, residents and the business community feel secure.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas told the 28th Private Sector Banquet that his governing St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party Administration has the crime situation high on the national agenda.
He said using 3.8 million Euros from the European Union, tackling crime-fighting issues from several indentified fronts have been identified.
“They include but are not limited to the following:
1. Introducing the use of effective international best practices and appropriate technologies to improve the prevention, reduction and detection of crimes.
2. Upgrading the curriculum of the police training school.
3. Improving recruitment practices, and enhancing staffing policies and working conditions for the police in order to attract more graduates into the service.
4. Provide training at regional and international institutions in the areas of forensic sciences, criminology, management and administration.
5. Rehabilitate, upgrade and refurbish police stations, the police training school and the coastguard facilities.
6. Complete formulation of an inter-ministerial approach to crime fighting through collaboration between ministries such as the Ministries of Education, Youth, Justice and Legal Affairs, Social and Community Development among others.
Prime Minister Douglas told the audience prior to the presentation by the guest speaker, the Hon. Mark Brantley, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly that the new approach to law and order will involve strengthening the management framework of the various units that are mandated to deliver on programmes that are action oriented with a results-based approach.
The Ministry of National Security has proposed, after consultations with INTERPOL, the restructuring of the Intelligence Unit that has been given a revised mandate to drive the operations, crime detection and information gathering initiatives of the Police Force.
Dr. Douglas said that the introduction of a Homicide Unit, another initiative for the Police Force, takes into consideration the need for focussed attention of the projections for improved crime detection and conviction rates.
“With the increased emphasis on the use of forensics in crime detection, the establishment of the Forensic Lab in the sub-region will allow for increased access by the Police Forces in the smaller islands of the Eastern Caribbean to the technology and will enhance their crime detection capabilities. The Police Force will require a dedicated Unit with the expertise to ensure the effective outcome,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Douglas also disclosed that St. Kitts and Nevis and other members of the Caribbean Community will see the materialization of a Plan of Action and Framework for cooperation on security as a deliverable of the United States Government’s regional support initiative.
“St. Kitts and Nevis led the discussions on behalf of CARICOM that will be formalized in Washington this month when the draft declaration and Plan of Action will be signed as a show of political support to strengthen the Caribbean ““ United States security cooperation strategic mechanism,” said Dr. Douglas.
The Plan of Action provides for a balanced and integrated approach that incorporates effective law enforcement with youth crime prevention and interventions and the provision of viable options for rehabilitation and reintegration for youth who leave gangs.
“In collaborating with the region on the issue of illegal firearms, there is strong cooperation in the area of combating illicit trafficking, development of investigative techniques and improvement of the conviction and detection rates of firearm traffickers,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He took the opportunity to thank the members of the Private Sector for the support provided over the years to the local law enforcement institutions.
“We express our appreciation that we are receiving from Governments and international institutions. Fighting crime must involve all of us doing our part to improve the quality of life in the Federation. Let us commit to closer collaboration on this matter, as well as to all the other issues that affect the development of our country,” said Prime Minister Douglas.