BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The security apparatus in St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be strengthened with the increase of manpower and equipment; the employment of new tactics and strategies; implementation of social intervention programmes; and other related measures that have resulted in a sustained downward trend in crime in recent years.
The completion of Phase One of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) project that saw 345 cameras mounted around Basseterre and its environs; the growth of the Explorers Movement that positively engages children; and the current training of 37 recruits at the Police Training Complex are some of the initiatives that have enhanced citizen security. However, one point that federal government officials insist should not be overlooked is the contribution of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major General Stewart Saunders.
Maj. Gen. Saunders took up the NSA post on August 1, 2017. He possesses over 40 years of distinguished public service in Jamaica, where he regularly engaged in developing anticrime strategies at operational and policy levels. In St. Kitts and Nevis, his duties involve advising the government on matters relating to national security; assisting in the coordination of national security activities among various government agencies; encouraging and facilitating cooperation among national security agencies; and instituting structures and systems to ensure effectiveness and efficacy in the delivery of national security services.
“We are satisfied up to this day that he has added value to the work and the work is largely advisory, the work is largely setting systems in place and we are getting there,” said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during a recent radio programme.
The sentiment was shared by Commissioner of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), Ian Queeley, who said on Aug. 16, the NSA is doing “a commendable job.” The senior police official said that Maj. Gen. Saunders provides “sound advice to the police force” and his wealth of knowledge shaped by his decades of experience, has added “great value to the national security architecture.”
Head of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF), Lieutenant Colonel J. Anthony Comrie, credited the retired Jamaican Defence Force official for helping to enhance standard operations at Camp Springfield.
“The SKNDF has nothing but praise for the National Security Adviser,” he stated.
Accessing local and regional training for the men and women of the ranks, on a variety of security related topics, was one area cited by Lt. Col. Comrie. This includes courses from the University of the West Indies. Other benefits include enhancing the intelligence gathering capabilities of the organization, and recommending best practices to improve operations.
Specialized training for security officials to address issues in national security and crisis management was also coordinated by the NSA. Additionally, strategic reviews were also conducted of the SKNDF, RSCNPF, Her Majesty’s Prison, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department, and the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services. The findings and relevant recommendations were submitted to the competent authority for review and appropriate action.