BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 3, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, is presently in Trinidad and Tobago where he is leading high level talks on matters of regional security.
This is being done at the 19th Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Security taking place today, Friday, May 3 at the Hilton Hotel.
Prime Minister Harris is being supported at the one-day meeting by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mr. Osmond Petty and acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilroy Brandy.
While delivering brief remarks at the opening of Friday’s security meeting, Prime Minister Harris, who also serves as St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of National Security, reiterated a call for closer collaboration among the region’s law enforcement agencies, including those tasked with border security.
The prime minister said, “Illicit trafficking in guns, drugs and people pose significant threats to our security, and enhanced co-operation is an urgent necessity to help in combatting them. There is no doubt that guns are the most instrumental factor contributing to serious crimes and high murder rates in the region. At least 70 per cent of the violent crimes recorded in CARICOM Member States, have been committed with the use of illegal firearms.”
Among the issues expected to be discussed at today’s meeting is the determinant factors as it relates to crime and violence, particularly among young people. According to Prime Minister Harris, the response by law enforcement agencies to crime and violence must be accompanied by an increased focus on the preventative aspects.
“We require innovative and inventive social and economic programmes to lure into a productive lifestyle those most enticed by the rewards of criminal activity. There is no quick fix nor easy solutions but we have a responsibility as leaders to provide a safe and secure environment for our citizens. We have to address the root causes and other facilitating factors that create the conditions which foster this anti-social behavior,” added Dr. Harris.
Other items on the meeting’s agenda that were up for discussion included the management of the Regional Security Framework, the region’s Rapid Response Mechanism as well as the Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network.