Police Force heightens community visibility and involvement

Hon. Sam Condor

St. Kitts, April 30, 2010 (SKNIS): Police officers in St. Kitts and Nevis will have heightened visibility in communities as the Ministry of National Security rolls out aspects of its revised patrol strategy.

“Officers are [now] assigned on the beat in pairs, in selected areas, on a 24 hour basis,” Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of National Security, Honourable Sam Condor said at a press conference at Government Headquarters on Thursday (April 29). “We are expected to have regular, joint security operations using all of the resources available to us, including the K-9 [units].”

Special Advisor to the Ministry of National Security, Dr. Norgen Wilson supported Minister Condor’s statements and further revealed that close partnership with a security company was also assisting in enhancing mobile patrols.

Minister Condor noted that he was resolved to carry out the dispensation of the Ministry and was cognizant of the fact that there was no “quick fix” to crime and the challenges it poses to a developing country.

As such, assistance continues to be sought from regional and international agencies. Next week, for example a team from the Regional Security System (RSS) will visit for a planning session on basic jungle training. That exercise will be held in St. Kitts in September of this year.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mrs. Astona Browne told SKNIS that while here, the team will have follow up discussions with local officials on ways the RSS can offer greater support to security efforts in the Federation.

Assistance has also been requested from Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) in the United States.

The Deputy Prime Minister also stated that the public, now more than ever, needed to be involved in fostering an atmosphere of peace. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Joseph Richardson highlighted that two illegal firearms had been removed from the streets over the last 24 hours, thanks to the direct assistance of concerned citizens.

Mr. Liburd added that aspects of the community policing strategy implemented two weeks ago in areas of Basseterre including Greenlands and Bird Rock had shown good promise. The Security Team all agreed that a proactive and preventative approach to crime fighting was critically important in eliminating the impact of antisocial elements.

“Every day we have been receiving calls from the public stating how pleased they are…,” ACP Richardson revealed. The increased police involvement in the aforementioned communities is part of a larger zone which stretches from Bird Rock to The Village. The new formalized structure will eventually expand to other areas in St. Kitts and Nevis in the near future.

The police force is in addition preparing to recommence the successful town hall meetings that allow the general public to share concerns and recommendations with the Police High Command and policy makers. Many of the suggestions coming from these community exchanges were factored into the Objectives and Policing Plan for 2009 – 2011.

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