Photo: The Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett


Byron-Nisbett ‘strongly supports’ firearms bill


Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett says she is throwing her full support behind Firearms Amendment Bill 2017, which seeks to enforce stiffer penalties on gun-related crimes.

Speaking on the second day of the national assembly June 14, Senator Byron-Nisbett said that the idea of bringing this bill into force is testament to the government’s hard work of ensuring citizens and residents are safe.

This is government at work, ensuring that, at the legislative level, we give support to the justice system so as to be certain that they are able to effectively carry out their mandate of protecting the citizens of our country with strong and firm convictions,” she said. “Mr. Speaker, it should be noted, however, that the legislative response is but one part of the collective effort necessary to fight and prevent crime and most specifically that of violent gun-related crime. Beyond legislation, there are other factors that contribute to the crime-fighting effort. Component No. 1 of this effort, Mr. Speaker, is for us to ensure that our law enforcement agencies are equipped with the necessary support and resources required for their efforts.”

The senator reflected on her budget presentation in December 2016, where she highlighted the federation’s law enforcement agencies were being empowered through 2017 at a very high level never seen before in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Indeed, there has been traction in the efforts to empower our enforcements as outlined in the budget,” she said. “We heard the prime minister speak to the fact that … we saw the highest level of budgetary support to national security at EC$72 million. This, Mr. Speaker, is an effort to fight. We heard him speak of the investment in technology, with the inclusion of a comparison microscope that has helped the police match weapons to multiple crime scenes and incidents. This Mr. Speaker, is an investment in crime-fighting initiative.”

She also spoke about the opening of the second high court, which was created to speed up the backlog of cases, as well as the possible allocation of lands to be made available to people who have had previous run-ins with the law “in efforts to assist them to reintegrate meaningfully back into society.

We should take note of the work that has already begun for the building of a new correctional facility at Estridge,” she added. This facility … will serve not only as a holding cell, but as a rehabilitation facility that will assist in efforts of reshaping the mindset of [people] who have already fallen into the trap of a life of criminality.”