Basseterre, St. Kitts – The new national security adviser, Maj. Gen. Stewart Saunders, has identified the reduction of homicides as his most pressing goal he wants to fulfil during his tenure in the post.

Sanders, who officially took up the post two weeks ago, so far has met with a number of individuals and stakeholders, including the criminal and justice board, the police force, the military, Her Majesty’s Prisons, the Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Speaking with members of the media on Wednesday, Saunders highlighted some of the aims he hopes to attain during his time in the post, stating that togetherness was key in making the federation a safer society to live.

“I sincerely hope that at the end of the day we will have a proper understanding on how to go forward in unity to make sure St. Kitts and Nevis is a better society to live in, in the very near future,” he said. “I am simply hoping to ensure we bring a more unified approach to addressing the crime problem. so all the resources can be brought to bear in order to solve the issues that are concern[ing]. That entails ensuring that all involved exhibit far more professionalism [and] are far better equipped and resourced in order to deal with the issues that confront us.”

Saunders was asked by the Observer what has he identified as his most pressing need and he noted that it was the reduction of homicides.

“The most pressing need is to reduce the number of homicides in society and, so far, things have been trending in the right direction,” he said.

He was also questioned if there was anything concerning that stood out to him since his short time in the federation.

“I can’t say that there is anything that has stood out,” he said. “I am most concerned with the number of homicides when compared to the size of the population and the fact that everyone that I have met with shares the [same] concern.”

Saunders also noted that national security stakeholders also believe that the crime is trending downward and are willing to back the ministry in the fight.

“Everyone also feels that we are trending in the right direction and they have been very helpful in putting their services forward in as far as the fight against crime is concern,” Saunders added.

The retired major general who hails from Jamaica is expected to serve the federation for the next two years as per the normal contractual arrangements and bring to the table more than 40 years of experience in the field of national security.