BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Sandy Point Police Station was held today at Bouncing Hill.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said the construction of the new police station represents another major investment by his Team Unity administration in the country’s national security framework.
The prime minister told those in attendance at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony that upon entering office, his administration met a situation where much of the key law enforcement infrastructures throughout the country were in different stages of dilapidation.
“The St. Paul’s Police Station, which is just a half minute away from the residence of the former prime minister, was allowed to go to dogs when the prime minister held the portfolio of national security. Ask yourself what went wrong for 20 years that the police station at Old Road was allowed to go to dogs and become a health risk to the police officers there, forcing the closure of that facility, and that became part of the problems which we must address,” Dr. Harris emphasized.
Prime Minister Harris said shortly after assuming office, his Team Unity administration sought to rectify these problems. This was facilitated through record budgetary allocations year after year to the Ministry of National Security.
Dr. Harris said, “We are looking at new Coast Guard facilities being opened in 2019; we have already done extensive renovation at the Police Headquarters; we have had to invest nearly half of a million dollars at the Frigate Bay Police Outpost to get that property up and ready post-hurricane. Equally, we expended over quarter of a million dollars at the Police Training School to get that up and ready, and we are talking about other investments in the national security system.”
The National Security Minister further stated that his administration has made considerable investments to the technological advancement of the security forces, particularly through the procurement and installation of CCTV cameras in certain areas in Basseterre and the surrounding environs.
“Since we have come to office, we have invested in our CCTV programme and have placed over 345 cameras around Basseterre, Shadwell and in Conaree, and in those areas where we have placed those cameras we have witnessed, according to the police, a reduction in criminal activity,” said Dr. Harris.
The prime minister also said the Ministry of National Security intends to install an additional 1,000 CCTV cameras throughout St. Kitts and Nevis in 2019.
Dr. Harris said the government has taken steps to significantly improve the fleet of vehicles being used by security agencies and provide 250 duty belts for use by officers of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.