Prime Minister Harris has reiterated the government’s commitment to the fight against crime but also said the public’s help is needed.
During Wednesday press briefing, the Prime Minister said the issue of crime is “by far the federation’s single greatest challenge and the government will continue its endeavors to ensure that citizens and residents remain safe.”
“Our people, our business community, civil society, and our social institutions such as schools and churches all have a role to play in achieving this common objective.”
He noted that investments in national security include training, technical assistance, the procurement of crime fighting equipment, strategic partnerships with overseas law enforcement agencies, and the restructuring of the Police Force.
“Coupled with this significant investment in national security is the attention to our legal infrastructure. Our investments in technology including the build-out of our CCTV and security apps Programme is also an imperative.”
He revealed that over the past two years, the government would have injected unprecedented sums in budgetary support into the Ministry of National Security in the fight against crime.
“Our 2016 budgetary increase for this endeavour was in the region of almost EC $72 million – a figure previously unheard of in the history of this country. My government continues to tackle this scourge head-on, and will not cede this fight to those criminal elements who are bent on destroying our families and communities, our social institutions, our economy, the investment climate, and our country’s good name in the regional and international environments,” said the national security minister.”
Harris also made mention of his recent warning, where he reminded the general public that St. Kitts and Nevis is, “by and large, a nation of laws”.
“We are governed by laws, so that we remain a respectful and disciplined people wherein the gains of development and prosperity are shared by all. Each and every person in this country deserves his or her fair share. Such is our right and such is our reasonable expectation,” he said. “However, the path to prosperity and a fair share is not characterized by lawlessness. It is not characterized by criminality, by homicides, robbery, fraud and the destructively selfish mindset of coveting what others have without working for it. Such behaviour has to stop – and will be stopped by whatever legal and other means are available to our national security agencies and our people who have the right to protect what is theirs.”
The national security minister used the occasion to extend condolences to the families who have lost loved ones to crime, especially gun violence.
He added that the nation’s people “have suffered enough at the hands of criminals, and the families of victims have had to rebuild the pieces of their lives in the face of grief and fractured relationships.”
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