New Police Units to buttress crime reduction plan

SKNIS Photo: Two members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 09, 2013 (SKNIS): A number of new initiatives under the banner of law and order have been outlined by Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas.

During the 2013 Budget Address on Tuesday (April 09), the Prime Minister disclosed that an Anti-Robbery Team, Firearms Tracking Investigation Unit and Arson Investigation Unit will be created to “buttress [the] crime reduction plan.

The Anti-Robbery Team will comprise officers from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and the Customs and Excise Department. The Firearms Tracking Unit, which is said to be the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean, will make use of a number of equipment and training of personnel to trace and process illegal firearms. Support for this unit will be provided by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

The Arson Investigation Unit comprises officers from the police and fire services department. “The Arson Investigation Unit will also receive assistance from the ATF to enhance capacity in this specialised area to investigate fire offences and deter crimes which target our expanding residential public and business infrastructure,” Prime Minister Douglas expressed.

He also highlighted efforts of Government to “strengthen legislation to effectively respond to the changing nature of criminal activity and to support the judiciary in the execution of its duties.” These include; The Jury Act which modernized and enhanced the performance of the jury system, the Bail Act which governs the granting and restriction of bail, as well as the Justice Protection Act that provides protection for witnesses and judges where necessary. Recent amendments were also made to the Proceeds of Crime Act (2000), the Anti-Terrorism Act (2002), and the Immigration Act (2002).

The Prime Minister thanked local entities, including the Coalition of Support for St. Kitts and Nevis Security Initiatives, TDC Group of Companies, Ross University, as well as regional and international partners such as the United States Government and the European Union, for their assistance in boosting the capabilities and resources of the law enforcement infrastructure.

“Mr. Speaker, this Government will continue to invest in the enhancement of skills, equipment and infrastructure to improve the output of the security forces and utilize new approaches and legislation in order to ensure a holistic approach in maintaining law and order,” stressed Prime Minister Douglas. “I encourage our citizens to continue to support our men and women in uniform and in the halls of justice, as they endeavour to maintain a society buttressed by laws.”

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