Photo: Dr. Chitan during a recent engagement with parents and youth
PM Harris emphasizes importance of social interventions to refocus at-risk youth
Basseterre, St. Kitts – The increased activities and operations by the security forces, which have enhanced the safety and security environment in St. Kitts and Nevis, have been welcomed by the public, says prime minister and minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris.
While addressing the National Assembly on Aug. 10, Harris spent much of his presentation on national security, referencing the focused activities to engage the public and foster better relations between the security forces and the community.
“We want to commend all the agencies of national security for their special outreach,” Harris stated, referring to the July 10-14 Summer Safety Camp by the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services and the participation of police officers serving as dorm leaders and facilitators at the Department of Youth Empowerment’s Annual Summer Residential Camp July 16-30. More than 800 young people were impacted during these two programmes alone.
Recognition was also given to the Community Policing Initiative of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, which includes the inaugural Police Summer Camp July 14-27, hosting town hall meetings and other engagements with community members, reviving the Teens and Police Service Programme in high schools, enhancing the school liaison programme, fostering relations with community groups, and others.
“This effort to improve interaction with the communities around the federation and to engage our young people, who are involved in gangs or at risk of gang membership, as well as their parents and other stakeholders, is being supported by Dr. Neals Chitan and a team of nine police officers,” Harris said. “So far, the response has been quite good.”
Chitan is an international social skills consultant and crime reduction specialist working with public and private stakeholders, educational institutions, community groups and individuals to address the root causes of crime and implement initiatives to mitigate such. His services were contracted in 2016 by the Ministry of National Security.
Harris explained that government’s strategies will continue to involve “hard policing initiatives” and “social interventions” to enhance public safety.