St. Kitts and Nevis’ prime minister offers second chance to those youth who seek it


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The prime minister and minister of national security, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, is offering a fresh start to young people involved in criminal activities who are looking to make a positive change in their lives.

“If there is any young person out there involved now in illegal activity, particularly in relation to guns, and [he or she] wants to make a turn, I would guarantee them – I repeat, I am guaranteeing them a job if they are seriously committed to turn away from the life of crime,” Harris said. “That is the solemn guarantee I make.” Harris made his statement during his press conference held Wednesday at government headquarters.

“I would guarantee you a job that you could at least earn a weekly wage if you are serious about making the turn for the better,” he added. “The country deserves fewer criminals than we have on the streets and the cost of maintenance of the peace and security requires us to be open-minded and to even think outside the box if we are to nip this situation in the bud.”

The national security minister stressed that there are career opportunities available in St. Kitts and Nevis for young people, particularly school leavers, in the area of law enforcement.

“Being in the police force is not just about carrying a baton, it’s not just about standing at some beat; it is also about learning a diversified array of life skills that could put you in good stead for life,” he said. “The career paths in terms of policing now are so diverse. So for example, as we are building out our [closed-circuit television] CCTV programme we need young men with knowledge in ICT to be part of that particular programme. As we are developing our forensic department, we need young people with expertise and experience in forensics, so there is a wide range. As we are talking about building and reorganizing our traffic department, there is room even in administration.”

The nation’s leader also noted that opportunities are available at the Customs and Excise Department, adding that “the Customs Department has a regular training programme for recruits and we want to build on that cadre of [people] and so we are welcoming and encouraging people to get involved. We want our parents not to have their children at home being idle doing nothing when work is going a-begging in the country.”