Grenadian Leader calls for hemispheric approach on security

PM Tillman Thomas

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, 24th AUGUST, 2011 – Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has called for greater emphasis on a hemispheric approach to confronting criminal activity and security.

Addressing the Third CARICOM-SICA Summit in El Salvador, the Prime Minister said small states are challenged by a “lack of resources” to effectively confront crime and insecurity.

“Our success in meeting and overcoming the challenges associated with fighting crime and improving the security of the region, is affected by limited resources. The geography of our island states, characterized by hundreds of inlets and bays, makes accomplishing this task even more problematic. Regional collaboration is therefore necessary,” the Prime Minister told the meeting.

He noted that criminals are increasingly using sophisticated boats and technology for transnational organized crime, allowing them to take advantage of limitations in the security capacity of CARICOM states.

The Prime Minister noted that Caribbean countries are also affected by an increase in criminal activity due to the United States policy of deporting persons of Caribbean descent who are found guilty of crimes that are committed in the US.

“These persons, who are sent back to our region with a criminal record, do not have the requisite relationships or mechanisms to support their re-adjustment to life in the Caribbean. Many of them grew up and were socialized in their adopted countries,” the Prime Minister said.

Additionally the Grenadian leader said the “integrity deficit” in some elements of the security forces, evidenced by their facilitation of criminal activity, is also at the center of his call for a new approach to security.

“There is a need for the development and institutionalization of necessary steps to ensure that those who are there to protect and provide security to our people are not themselves involved in criminal activity,” the Prime Minister said.

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