Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 22, 2010 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis is stepping up the fight against crime following a meeting between top government officials and INTERPOL.
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Sam Condor lead the Federation’s discussions with the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Mr. Ronald K. Noble.
“Our number 1 concern has always been ensuring that both citizens and visitors to St Kitts and Nevis be afforded the best possible security and assistance. By according INTERPOL travel document holders special visa status, we are able to enhance our security by putting in place even closer links to INTERPOL and the support it provides,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
A variety of crime areas where INTERPOL could be of assistance in providing training were also identified during discussions with Prime Minister Douglas, the Honourable Sam Condor, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Mrs. Astona Browne, Permanent Secretary for National Security, Dr. Norgen Wilson, Special Advisor on National Security, Mr. Austin Williams, Commissioner of Police and INTERPOL Secretary General Noble.
“Any country that needs support in police training or in international crime prevention and crime response can best do so by ensuring that it has a strong and vibrant relationship with INTERPOL,” said Noble, following long ranging talks.
Mr. Noble said that based on his discussions with Prime Minister Douglas and other high ranking St. Kitts and Nevis government officials, “I am persuaded that St. Kitts and Nevis is aware of the challenges confronting it and other countries in the region and is ready to take bold steps to confront these challenges.”
During the historic meeting with Prime Minister Douglas and Deputy Prime Minister Condor, it was agreed that the increasing transnational crime threats confronting the region required greater collaboration between INTERPOL and St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Toward that end, Prime Minister Douglas agreed to take immediate steps for his country to accord special visa status for INTERPOL travel document holders, thereby ensuring that the citizens of and visitors to St Kitts and Nevis would benefit from any needed international police support from INTERPOL without any unnecessary red tape,” said Noble.
INTERPOL’s presence and importance in the Caribbean Region has increased since the region hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup and INTERPOL put in place a state of the art passport and passenger screening system.
The Caribbean Region now leads all INTERPOL regional bodies in terms of member country participation in the systematic screening of non-nationals seeking entry into the region.
During his first visit to St Kitts and Nevis, Secretary General Noble identified additional ways that the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis as well as citizens of the entire region could benefit from INTERPOL travel document holders having standard visa requirements waived in order for them upon request to respond more quickly to any needs of the country or region.