Police in St. Kitts and Nevis will get help in their crime fighting efforts with the opening of a new forensic laboratory in the Federation.

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris officially opened the Laboratory last week, the sixth of its kind in the world. It’s located at Tabernacle.

Speaking at the ceremony Deputy Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy indicated the new facility will play a significant role in the daily task for the police. “We know that each crime scene is unique and each case presents its own challenges but with the resources available at this lab, the Force will be able to process and analyse the crime scene findings more effectively leading to greater conviction supported by solid indisputable evidence, “ he said.

He added, “An effective forensic analyst can reduce the over-reliance of sometimes frightened witnesses and reeling communities.”

Brandy implored the staff at the new lab to have the highest integrity in carrying out their tasks. “To the employees of this new lab, I remind each of you of the oath that you have taken, the need for honesty, integrity, and transparency in the execution of your duties as analysts.”

The Deputy Police Commissioner cautioned the technicians that great responsibility has been placed on them from the rest of the police force. “It is to you indeed, not only the federal government, but the entire population will in the future be asking where is the crime lab? What is it doing to fight against crime?

“It is therefore important for you to ensure that more will be expected of you. There will be times when your hours will become longer in your pursuit of finding scientific evidence to assist investigators to come to a speedy and concrete conclusion.”

PM Harris noted that the facility was part of the government’s effort to reduce criminality in the Federation.

“In 2017 we disbursed EC$72 million to National Security, that was almost five times the allocation of EC$15.3 million allocated in 2014, and in 2018 we committed EC$75.5 million, the largest allocation ever to National Security. We did that because our inheritance was a bad one.”

Dr. Harris disclosed that upon taking office in 2015 the national security infrastructure were in poor conditions with run-down police stations around the Federation and in sufficient vehicles.

“In order to consecrate the future, my government has been tackling all these problems and issues and more. The culture of silence by the public in respect to crime meant that alternative mechanisms, science and technology had to be brought into vogue and practice in order to restore public safety and security,” Dr. Harris said.

He added that the head of the forensic department Narace Ramnarine promised that with the proper resources they will make a difference. “It took quite a lot of money to get to where we are at now here. I hope Mr Ramnarine that you will deliver the peace dividend which we are expecting.”

Dr. Harris noted that the increasing criminality is something the government must address. “This government of which I have the privilege and the honour to lead recognises that the peace and the quiet and the progress and prosperity of the country are things over which we must give all our considered attention.”

The facility started construction in 2017 and was built by a company from Trinidad and Tobago.