Legislation to prevent underage children from patronizing nightclubs to go to parliament

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas during his weekly programme “Ask the PM.”

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 13TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Legislation will soon go before the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly putting the onus on bar and nightclub owners keep underage children from attending events.

“Just last week, we were assured that very quickly our Legal Department will be bringing to the National Assembly, the appropriate legislation to ensure that there is a responsibility on patrons, there is a responsibility on owners of these businesses to protect our juveniles from getting into situations where there can be violation of our laws,” said St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.

Responding to an email during his weekly programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday Dr. Douglas said there is need to ensure that the appropriate laws place the responsibility on those who own bars, those who are having events and functions and who are owners of nightclubs that only people of appropriate age can be within those confines.

“We want also to ensure that alcohol is sold only to those of the legal age and in violation, the owner, and the vendor who must be responsible to ensure that that person is appropriately protected. We shall have the appropriate laws put in place and this would come very, very quickly,” said the Prime Minister.

Dr. Douglas said parents too must now be held responsible for the criminal activity of their children.

“We have seen what happened recently in Trinidad. On Monday the Hon. Attorney General (Patrice Nisbett) reflected in the Cabinet on that development in Trinidad, where the Attorney General in Trinidad and Tobago has had passed the appropriate laws in Trinidad holding parents responsible, especially for those children who are involved in gangs.

“They see them with items, they know that they are involved, weapons are been held at their homes, they come home with big chains; they know that they are not working for any money to buy these gold chains. Where you got them from? If criminals are been harbored in the homes of parents, then the parents must begin to pay the appropriate penalties for harboring and to some extent for facilitating criminal activities among their own children. These things have to be stepped up and stopped,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

On the installation of Closed Circuit Cameras in the Federation, Prime Minister Douglas said they have not completed the island-wide installation.

“I know that they have been installed in Nevis. They have been installed in St. Kitts, but I don’t think we have had the full coverage that we have anticipated,” he said, adding that the exercise is ongoing.

“The government will continue to work with the stakeholders. Those of the private sector, the Embassy of Taiwan and all others who have come forward to work with us on this very critically important piece of equipment that can assist us in fighting crime,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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