Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon.  Dr. Timothy Harris has called for strengthening of trust and respect between police and community groups if the Federation is to reap benefits  from the large investments the government has made in the fight against crime.

Dr. Harris who is also the Minister of National Security while speaking at Long Service Awards for Police Officers indicated that there is a need to bring back neighbourhood watches in communities that are working constructively with security forces.

“Every effort must be made to establish and strengthen trust, respectful and truthful partnership between the police and community groups, churches and schools.”

The Prime Minister stated that the police and the community can work in tandem to find an answer to tackle the worrying issue.

“The police and the community can work together to find solutions to address those things that are leading to insecurity and criminal activities and, of course, to deal with conflicts before they escalate into violence,” Dr Harris indicated.

He continued, “We need  as a people to positively and aggressively engage the young people. Since becoming the Prime Minister of this beloved land of St. Kitts and Nevis, and having added responsibility of National Security, I have become more keenly aware that safer communities and the reduction of crime should not be left to the police and security forces alone.”

Dr. Harris indicated that all hands are needed on deck if the Federation is to be successful in its crime fighting efforts.

“Building safer communities relies on the partnership and support of every person, citizen and resident in this our beloved Federation.”

He then hailed the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force for their efforts in curbing the crime problem thus far in 2016.

This year so far, the police has responded and contained, and in some cases curtailed the upsurge of homicides and related violent incidents in our country… And it is for this I want to thank them,” the Prime Minister noted.

He also hailed some of their partners who have come on board to assist in the crime fighting efforts including the embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Dr. Harris who also holds the portfolio for Finance reminded that the Ministry of National Security was also the beneficiary of increased budget support from the National treasury.

“We have over the last two plus years invested much in needed assets in the security forces – forensics, vehicle, CCTV, international training and organizational development, name any area we have invested.

“Never before in the history of our Federation…has so much been invested in our police in so comprehensive a manner. The largest budget ever presented to National Security was in 2016 and in our 2017 budget we out did ourselves. I want to praise the police for the strenuous efforts they are making to provide a peace dividends on the investment we are making,” Dr. Harris said.

Last year is St. Kitts and Nevis saw 31 homicides with 27 on St. Kitts and 4 on Nevis. So far for 2017 St. Kitts and Nevis have seen 22 homicides with the most recent occurring on Saturday evening with the killing of 27-year-old Theon Audain in West Basseterre.