Published 16th December 2020
Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 16, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Ministry of National Security has been allotted a total of $86,177,834 million dollars in budgetary allocation for the financial year January 01 to December 31, 2021 that will assist in the provision of resources to improve the national security apparatus in the twin island Federation.
While presenting his people-centered 2021 Federal Budget on Tuesday, December 15, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of National Security will, for example, result in the continued improvement to the physical structures of a number of police stations that were neglected and ran into states of dilapidation under the leadership of the former administration.
“We have significant capital projects that have been supported in the 2021 Budget, including the completion of the state-of-the-art police station which will serve the town of Sandy Point and surrounding communities. This is expected to be completed in 2021. Mr. Speaker, substantial resources were provided for the construction of the Newcastle Police Station which was commissioned on the 3rd of December this year. This facility also provides accommodation for the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services as we continue our efforts to create multipurpose outposts and we, Mr. Speaker, are committed to provide a new fire tender…and they come at a cost of over $1.2 million according to the fire chief,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Harris indicated that his Government is also committed to the technological advancement of the security forces, particularly as it relates to the forensic capabilities of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
Dr. Harris noted that the Government intends to procure a specialized forensic vehicle in the upcoming year which “will allow the department to securely transport the sensitive forensic equipment and evidence collected, as well as improve access to remote crime scenes. This will further enhance the integrity of the investigative process. Moving forward, the Forensics Department will pursue opportunities for specialization and international accreditation of its staff. We aim to achieve accreditation for the provision of professional forensic services to the wider OECS.”
Moreover, the National Security Minister said the Government will continue the rollout of its Closed Circuit Television Surveillance System initiative across St. Kitts and Nevis that has proven to be an essential tool in deterring criminal activity.
More than 300 cameras were installed in the Basseterre area in 2018. Additional cameras were installed in the rural areas of St. Kitts, bringing the total number of CCTV cameras positioned as at September 2020 to more than 400. Because of COVID related setbacks, the work has not been completed, however, we expect this phase of the initiative on St. Kitts to be completed during the first quarter of next year.
“Due of course to the COVID related setbacks, the work is not complete and so we are anticipating that by the first half of next year we will be able to scale up and complete our CCTV initiative, not just on St. Kitts but also on the island of Nevis where 380 cameras will be provided. We are doing significant work with Motorola and we have signed agreements with them, in collaboration with Digicel, that would help to improve the use of our handheld radios and improve the ability of our security forces to gather intelligence, manage and respond to activities and improve efficiency in the performance of essential functions.
The honourable prime minister emphasized that his Team Unity administration will never shirk from its responsibility of providing adequate resources to support law and order and to ensure the safety and security of citizens, residents and visitors to our shores.