BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 14, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, says his Team Unity-led Administration takes the issue of safety and security of all residents and citizens seriously and that the government’s recent investment in national security is a clear indication that his government will never waver in doing the right thing.
The government assigned approximately $72 million to the Ministry of National Security in 2017, the largest yearly budgetary allocation ever given to it. This sum doubles the combined total amount disbursed in 2014 and 2015.
Addressing the nation during Tuesday’s sitting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Harris said the budgetary allocation has allowed for the introduction of additional projects and programmes and the roll-out of more state-of-the-art technologies to assist law enforcement agencies in their crime fighting efforts.
“We have invested in the technology, including significant sums in the comparison microscope to upgrade the quality of service available in our fledgling forensic department. This of course, has helped the police match weapons to multiple crime scene incidents. We are building out our CCTV programme and for that we have brought in and have had the assistance of one of the largest and the most respected CCTV camera producers in the world in VIVOTEK,” Dr. Harris stated.
The prime minister, who also serves as Minister of National Security, said the government’s support to law enforcement also includes upgrading the fleet of vehicles being used by the different agencies.
“Last year, we handed over trucks and vehicles to the defence force valued at over $800, 000,” Prime Minister Harris said. “We also have provided improved transportation for Her Majesty’s Prisons, particularly to ensure the safety of the public as it relates to the movement of prisoners to and from our courts and other locations.”
The National Security Minister also spoke with pride of the opening of the second High Court at the Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex and the addition of a second High Court judge.
This, according to the prime minister, has resulted in the significant improvement in the dispensation of justice in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The honourable prime minister reiterated the Government’s confidence in the Police Six-point Action Plan 2016-2019, which also calls for the reorganization of the Traffic Department, as “the management of our traffic becomes critical in the context of public safety and security.”
Prime Minister Harris stressed that while some saw the monies spent in the area of national security as an expense, “for us, it is an investment which must bring a peace dividend in the future.”