PM Douglas takes Police and Defence Force under his wing, establishes Ministerial Task Force and Special Anti-Crime Unit

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas speaks on ZIZ Television in a nationwide address on August 31st 2011

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 1, 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas announced Wednesday night the establishment of a Special Anti-Crime Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister and as a result was assuming responsibility of the police and the defence force.

“To give effect to this new arrangement, His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, acting on my advice and in keeping with our Constitution, has assigned the subjects of Police and Defence Force to me. This would enable me to effectively carry out my duties as Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force and to provide policy directions in relation to the fight against crime. It would also give the Anti-Crime Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister the necessary authority to discharge its administrative functions in relation to the Police and Defence Force,” Prime Minister Douglas told the nation in a radio and television broadcast.

Dr. Douglas informed the nation that his Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Sam Condor, will continue to hold all of his other portfolios in a restructured Ministry, restyled the Ministry of Home Land Security, Foreign Affairs, Labour and Social Security.

“The Department of Home Land Security will include Immigration, Passports, Prisons, Fire & Rescue Services, and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). He will also continue to play a major role in the fight against crime through his involvement in the Ministerial Task Force. Hence, he would be able to provide help in carrying forward many of the crime fighting activities and programmes that he initiated. Indeed, the Government and the entire nation owes the Hon Sam Condor a great debt of gratitude for his hard work in the fight against crime to date, and for the devotion and commitment that he displays in the discharge of his mandate as Minister of National Security,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He also announced the establishment of the a Ministerial Task Force that will be comprised of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the Minister of Works, and the Prime Minister as Chairman, “to provide general oversight and policy guidance in relation to all crime fighting activities in our Federation.”

Dr. Douglas said that the Task Force will ensure that the security forces are provided the resources that they require to effectively fight crime, and will monitor the implementation of a comprehensive crime reduction plan that is to be published shortly.

“We expect that the new Commissioner will take the lead in formulating this plan which will consolidate all of the initiatives and plans that we have announced in recent times, take full account of the many views and opinions expressed by our people through various media, and bring on board many of the Commissioner’s own ideas and strategies, based on his vast experience and outstanding credentials as a Law Enforcement Officer in the United States of America,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.

Dr. Douglas said the plan will identify clear and concrete objectives and targets, timelines for each planned activity, the person or entity responsible for the implementation of each activity, and critical milestones and indicators of success in the implementation of the plan.

He said this will him allow him as Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force, to report to the public at least quarterly in very clear and precise terms, as to the progress being made in implementing the plan and in combating crime and violence generally.

This Task Force will also liaise with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Crime and Violence, which establishment was recently announced by the Minister of National Security, and will seek to ensure that all plans and initiatives in relation to crime are subjected meaningful bipartisan consultations and supported by appropriate legislation in Parliament.

“As Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force on Crime, I will keep the Parliamentary Select Committee updated on a regular basis on the progress that we are making in respect of the fight against crime and take full account of their views and comments in relation to the fight against crime and violence,” said Prime Minister.

He said the fight against crime is to be given maximum support at the highest level of Government and the establishment of the Special Anti-Crime Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister would provide administrative and secretarial support to the Ministerial Task Force, monitor the implementation of the crime plan, coordinate the activities of the various law enforcement agencies, and provide an effective administrative interface between the policymakers and the security forces.

“This Unit would be headed by a Permanent Secretary who would be assigned specifically to the management of the Anti-Crime Unit and would be responsible for the discharge of administrative functions in relation to the Police and the Defence Force,” said Prime Minister Douglas.’

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