Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2017 (SKNIS): Ongoing training for law enforcement officers in all areas of generalized policing, which include refresher courses and specialized areas, will continue in earnest, said the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
At his monthly press conference on Thursday (March 10), the prime minister and minister of national security, highlighted some recently held courses geared towards improving the operational effectiveness of the men and women in the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF).
“We had a Forensic Awareness Course, which was held on February 14, 2017, and that was facilitated by the internationally renowned Cellmark Forensic Services,” Dr. Harris stated, referring to the United Kingdom-based firm. “Emphasis was placed on gunshot residue, DNA and sexual offences. Twenty-one officers participated and they were drawn from across the Crime Scene Unit, Violent Crimes Unit, Special Victims Unit and the Criminal Investigation Department.”
Reports were also shared that at least two Gazetted Officers (an officer holding the rank of Inspector or above) received capacity building training for combating small arms and light weapons in January 2017. This course was timely as statistics cited by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Terrance James, indicated that 70 percent of all violent crimes in CARICOM (Caribbean Community) member states are committed using small arms and light weapons. Officials from INTERPOL and the CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) were among the facilitators.
Two police officers were also trained in administering advanced polygraph testing, commonly referred to as a lie detector test. Officials plan to institute polygraph testing which will be administered to all recruits for law enforcement agencies including the RSCNPF, Immigration Department, Her Majesty’s Prison, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department, and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force.
“This enhanced vetting will allow for [the selection of] better quality personnel into law enforcement and better information and action regarding the vulnerabilities of these persons, who are being recruited,” Dr. Harris stated.
More than 30 new recruits, hoping to join the ranks of the RSCNPF, will begin training on March 20, 2017.