Basseterre, St. Kitts, (September 19, 2016): Law enforcement and security officials under the umbrella of the Regional Security System (RSS) are in St. Kitts and Nevis to lend support to the local police “in operational engagements.”
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, revealed such on Monday (September 19) as he addressed the nation in the traditional radio and television broadcast to mark more than three decades (33 years) of political independence from Great Britain.
Noting his Government’s serious commitment “to protect our country by all mean necessary”, Dr. Harris, who is also the Minister responsible for National Security said “we pledged that we would leave no stone unturned to keep our country safe. We will utilize all resources, local, regional and international in our effort to uproot crime. In furtherance of this public pledge, I am pleased to advise that Cabinet, after consultation with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, as well as with the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force, has sought the assistance of the RSS.”
According to its official website, www.rss.org.bb, the RSS was created in 1982 and relies on “mutual cooperation, in order to maximize regional security in preserving the social and economic development of our people.” The member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The public got a look at the men and women from neighbouring countries here as part of the RSS contingent during today’s (September 19) Independence Day Parade. They were a part of the unarmed units and marched passed in quick time at the parade.
Prime Minister Harris said “the details of the operational engagements were worked out by the RSS, our own Police High Command led by Commissioner Ian Queeley, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Wallace of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and Permanent Secretary, Osmond Petty in the Ministry of National Security.”
He added that they will work with law enforcement to remove illegal guns, arms, ammunition and more from the hands of criminals. Dr. Harris asked “for the full support of everyone to save lives.”
“A disciplined society must work to root out the destructive influences that retard our progress, besmirch our reputation and restrain the forward drive for prosperity for all,” the Prime Minister said. “Crime, particularly violent crime, holds back our potential to excel. It adversely affects the investment climate and destroys job opportunities.”
Over the past 17 months, Government has invested heavily in the security forces. In 2016, the Ministry of National Security was granted 47.6 million in the Budget to carry out its recurrent activities and 15.4 million for capital projects, which was 8.7 percent more than the 2015 figure. However, Prime Minister Harris said extra budgetary support was provided for operations. Additionally, the number of police training was increased, the K-9 Unit was expanded, the forensic capabilities were upgraded, and an enhanced telecommunication system was installed. The structure of the High Command was revamped and two strategic plans were also introduced.
Photo: Prime Minister Harris inspects contingent of Members from the Regional Security System (RSS)