OAS ministers accept blueprint for police management

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 20TH 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Patrice Nisbett and Commissioner of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Mr. C.G. Walwyn were among Ministers responsible for Public Security in the Americas, accepting a “blueprint” for police management in OAS Member states, including St. Kitts and Nevis.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs (first on the right in second row) among delegation heads at the meeting in Trinidad. (OAS Photo)

In his closing remarks to the two-day conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wrightson Road, in Trinidad, that country’s National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy said the Document of Port of Spain (recommendations for Police Management) was adopted and was now a blueprint.

“Public security is the duty and exclusive obligation of the State, strengthens the rule of law, and is intended to safeguard the well-being and security of persons and protect the enjoyment of all their rights. Our focus over the past two days on the Pillar of “Police Management” was borne out of a consensus that a solid blueprint is needed to enhance one of the institutions that is responsible for protecting and serving our citizens and building safer communities, ” said Sandy.

He noted that the objectives of that blueprint included “the modernisation and professionalization of police institutions, through training, improved technology and wider partnerships in a democratic framework.”

Sandy pointed out that “because of the experiences we have shared, we have taken the requisite steps to ‘promote the modernization of police management by incorporating transparency and accountability, enhancing the professionalization of security forces; and improving the living and working conditions of their members’.

Key features of the blueprint are improved communication and increased use of technology. The meeting was organised by the Organisation of American States. Sandy said it was now the responsibility of individual states “to implement those recommendations that would redound to enhanced public security in our countries and in our region.” Sandy stressed the need for OAS states to “press forward with a spirit of co-operation and co-ordination” towards the next meeting in Colombia in 2013.

Assistant Secretary General of the OAS His Excellency Ambassador Albert Ramdin in his closing remarks said the crime situation in members’ states forces leaders to make unpopular decisions and take actions that were not welcomed by all.

He said: “This is why we must examine our motives and ask ourselves whether political popularity and expediency should outweigh what is in the best interest of communities plagued by murders, gang related violence and kidnapping.

He said “crime and violence threatens democratic stability and poses real obstacles to human, social and economic development.” Ramdin said he hoped that stakeholders “will be able to deliver on the promise to strengthen co-operation our police information systems and foster the use of technology.”

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