The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to beef up the security infrastructure to ensure that public safety is maintained at a high level, and law and order prevails across the twin-island Federation according to Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
Law enforcement has made considerable gains since March this year that have resulted in double-digit decreases in all crimes including major crimes such as homicides, statistics from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force indicate, including a 71 percent drop in homicides for the March 1 to Aug. 12 period when compared to the same period in 2018.
In comments, the Prime Minister chalked up the decrease in homicides to the implementation of a Peace Initiative in March this year with rival gangs that facilitates job opportunities, agricultural endeavours, and skills training sessions. It also offers educational and development opportunities, as well as counselling and conflict resolution sessions. The Peace Initiative provides advice on entrepreneurial activities and accessing loans, money management, reducing the influence of gang culture and exposure to the basic function of society.
“Despite these significant successes, none of us should lay down our guard,” said Prime Minister Harris. “For our part, our government will continue to beef up our security through implementation of CCTV programmes, expansion of our forensic services, [and] adequate provisioning for law enforcement, training, etc.”
He also appealed for the private sector to also upgrade its security processes as “it is better to be safe than sorry.”
Dr. Harris said that government will continue to invest in social intervention programmes such as the 700-plus Explorers Club, a community policing initiative that bridges the gap between police and youth aged between four and 17 years.
The government will also expand the Alternative Pathway Programme providing additional opportunities for persons to participate in nation building and reject antisocial elements and establish a more targeted programme to help victims of violence. This includes family members of persons who have died as a result of crime and violence, and family members of those who have been the perpetrators of these offences.
The prime minister added that there will also be continuing engagement of services from professionals such as Dr. Cherese Godwin, Psychologist in the employment of National Security; and Dr. Sharon Gopaul-McNicol, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist.