(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Team Unity-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining peace and security in the country, highlighted by an unprecedented investment in the national security infrastructure in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The latest evidence of the government’s resolve to make St. Kitts and Nevis a safer nation came in the form of the commissioning of the new state-of-art forensic laboratory at the compound of the Tabernacle Police Station.
Speaking at Friday’s (April 27) commissioning ceremony, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that his government recognizes that the peace, prosperity and progress of the country must be given significant attention, “and that is why we have been investing more and more in the national security infrastructure.”
In December 2017, the government allocated EC$75.5 million to the Ministry of National Security for the 2018 fiscal year–EC$3.5 million more than what was allotted to that ministry in 2017.
The appropriation of $75.5 million for 2018 represents the largest budgetary support ever made towards the crime fighting efforts in St. Kitts and Nevis. In 2014, the Ministry of National Security received $15.3 million; in 2015, $20.7 million; and in 2016, it was allocated a total of $63 million.
“We did that because our inheritance was a bad one,” Dr. Harris said, adding that when his government came into office in 2015, it met a situation where the national security infrastructure was in disrepair.
This included dilapidated police stations in St. Paul’s, New Castle in Nevis, Old Road and in Sandy Point, as well as inadequate army barracks and vehicle fleet which resulted in demoralized workers, low detection rates and an uncooperative public in reporting crime.
“In order to consecrate the future my government has been tackling all these problems and issues and more. The culture of silence by the public in respect to crime meant that alternative mechanisms, science and technology had to be brought into vogue and practice in order to restore public safety and security,” said Prime Minister Harris, who is also Minister of National Security.
The government is also expected to continue its roll out of the Cities and Roadways Surveillance System CCTV Project. Phase one of the project covered Basseterre, Frigate Bay and their environs.
Prime Minister Harris stated that plans are in place for the commencement of phase two of the project shortly, which will cover more rural communities, particularly in the White Gate area.