Nevis Premier Hon. Vance Armory isn’t prepared to give an inch to criminal elements. In fact, he told members of the Nevis Assembly during presentation of the proposed budget for 2015 that he, his administration and local law enforcement officials intend to step up their battle against crime in 2015. “My administration remains committed to intensify the fight against crime and the eradication of criminal activity from within our communities,”Amory said in his speech. “We cannot effectively develop a country unless we can maintain peace and stability and reduce criminal activity.”As part of the administration’s fight against crime, Amory said the government would do what was necessary to support the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Forces. He noted that the NIA provided two vehicles this year, along with necessary equipment, to law enforcement officials, and has worked in an on-going basis to improve the work environment at the police station in Charlestown, as well as other offices on the island. “The issue of crime will therefore continue to be high on the agenda of my administration,”he vowed. The Premier took the opportunity to also update the Assembly on the closed-circuit television camera installation project, and the administration’s plans to further secure the island’s borders through ALPR and facial recognition software. According to NIA data, the installation of closed-circuit cameras is well into its second phase. The CCTV system, which was funded by the Republic of China on Taiwan, has strategically placed cameras in key parts of Charlestown to serve as a deterrent to criminal activity. Among the sites covered by the cameras are the government offices, the financial district and other key intersections and public spaces. To date, a total of 44 cameras have been installed, providing law enforcement officials with a real-time monitoring system. Additional cameras are scheduled to be installed in 2015, he said. “Clearly this not an exercise simply in the deployment of cameras, but rather in building a robust system that will be an effective tool to supporting the day-to-day operation of the police while improving our ability to deploy scarce police resources,”Amory noted. Amory also indicated that the administration planned to deploy Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALRP) and facial recognition software during the coming year. Both, he noted, will enable rapid and accurate identification of individuals that appear to be involved in criminal activities while on the CCTV network. Amory said the administration would rapidly expand the CCTV surveillance system at the island’s ports of entry, as well as installing x-ray machines at the airport and customs warehouse at Long Point to provide for better security. Amory also noted that the NIA was looking to launch a program known as SecureNevis. The initiative’s goal, through a partnership with homeowners in the public sector, seeks to ensure every space on the island is covered by the CCTV radar, thereby providing an island-wide tool against criminal activity. “It is an ambitious project but we think with collective efforts it is attainable,”he said. Under than plan, homeowners would be given incentives to install CCTV systems that police could monitor, ultimately giving authorities closed circuit coverage of the entire island and “ensuring the security of our little Nevis.””We must take a firm stance as we seek to grapple with this issue of crime, which if not brought under control would negatively impact our economic growth and development.”