Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 11, 2021 (SKNIS): The Ministry of National Security met with several government ministries, departments, and agencies to discuss the way forward as it pertains to St. Kitts and Nevis’ National Security Strategy – a document that provides a comprehensive plan for an “all of government approach” to further ensure a safe and secure environment for citizens, residents and visitors.
“We have met with the agencies within the Ministry of National Security to go through with them exactly what is required in their approach to actualize this particular document,” said Retired Major General Stewart Saunders, National Security Advisor, during his appearance on ‘Working for You’ on March 10.
Retired Major General Saunders used transnational organized crime as an example as to what is required by the agencies. He noted that transnational organized crime includes ammunition, drug and human trafficking, smuggling, money laundering, and cybercrime.
“What the ministries, departments, and agencies are required to do is as follows: the Police Force takes the lead in the matter of transnational organized crime and they are required to formulate a multi-disciplinary task force to deal with this aspect,” said Retired Major General Saunders. “The reason we need this many different facets involved in this sort of a task force is simply [because] any entity of crime that you will take to the levels that we are talking about does not involve only one offense.”
He explained that if the matter is about illegal drugs or arms and ammunition, that is just one aspect of the crime, while illegal possession and trafficking in arms and ammunition are other aspects. He added that “there is a whole gambit of things and right then and there you are seeing” several agencies such as Customs, Immigration, Police, the Ministry of Finance that have “responsibility” in several areas.
“All of these entities are involved in prosecuting a crime that is called illegal arms and ammunition trafficking. So, you need that multi-disciplinary approach in order to deal effectively with that particular crime,” he said, reiterating that the Police will take the lead supported by several other agencies. “So that is the approach that we speak about when we talk about a multi-faceted approach, all of the government approach, a whole of society approach.”
Retired Major General Saunders said that it is important to include society and keep them updated on the approach.
“The society needs to know that is how we are going to deal with these things and the society needs to know that this is the part that you have to play in assisting us… in dealing with this for our own collective safety, security and stability,” he said.