Taiwanese vehicles for police

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By L.K. HEWLETT

St. Kitts Reporter

The police force has received eight new vehicles to enhance their mobile patrol unit and aid in quick response to crime.

The fleet of vehicles included four buses and four cars, along with four motorbikes that had not arrived on the island until later this week.

The Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts H. E. John Liu said that crime fighting was one of the areas identified by his embassy as being in need of support. He said in order to battle crime, the police needed the necessary equipment which included additional vehicles.

“Additional crime fighting tools are needed in order to achieve more in this very important area, and my government has responded to an appeal for assistance. On behalf of my government I am pleased to present a check for US $100,000 to assist the police in their efforts. In the next few weeks, the police will receive 20 more motorbikes for increased patrolling needs. Our contribution will provide increased patrolling and police presence in general which would assist in the deterring of would-be criminals and provide the police with the ability to more quickly respond to reports of crime,” Liu said during the handing over ceremony.

Commissioner of Police Robert Jeffers said that the vehicles had come at a very timely manner as when the needs for policing Cricket World Cup 2007, vehicular transport was one of the gaps in assets that was identified.

“I can assure everyone that it will not be business as usual with these vehicles. I already have plans in mind as how the vehicles will be used. Special drivers will be assigned to drive so that means that not anybody can jump in and drive them. Special care will be taken of these vehicles,” Jeffers said.

Minister of National Security Dwyer Astaphan that the government had been labouring under a severely challenged situation with regard to assets for the peace-keeping forces in St. Kitts. He said that the idea of using small motorbikes for swift manoeuvrability, monitoring and patrolling.

“We want to see greater mobility, whether on foot, bicycles, motorbikes or vehicles. Hopefully what we’ll be seeing over time is a consistent build-out in facilities, tools and infrastructure. I want to put in my two pence worth of urging officers who are going to be using these vehicles to be absolutely responsible with them. Not just fro the vehicle itself and its parts but also for the use of petrol, which is an expensive item. Every ounce of petrol that is wasted is an additional cost to the public purse,” he said.

The officers were admonished to keep the vehicles in ‘sparkling’ condition and well cared for, with the minister assuring the public that such would be the case. Astaphan said he hoped that the delivery of the new vehicles would symbolise the delivery of the police force to a new and higher level of responsibility, professionalism and commitment.

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