BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 7, 2023 (SKNIS) – Prime Minister and Minister of National Security of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, in an address to the Nation on Tuesday, June 06, assured the nation of his government’s resolve to curb the recent spate of gun-related crimes and said that the solution must be an all of society approach.
“We have to work together at all levels of governance, as well as throughout all communities and households, to do more to stop the destruction of human lives in our beautiful twin-island nation,” he said.
Dr. Drew outlined several crime prevention measures that are being implemented by the security forces.
“Crime reduction requires the input and efforts of all of us. I, therefore, appeal to the general public to cooperate with the security forces. Immediately, the security forces will implement the following: (1) increased security presence in our communities through various methods, (2) further engagement of regional and international security experts to work along with our forces, (3)strengthening of the intelligence capabilities of the security forces, (4) expansion of the CCTV infrastructure island-wide, and (5) enhancement of evidence gathering capabilities to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice,” he said.
The Honourable Prime Minister also stated that legislative changes will be made to introduce tougher penalties for offences related to illegal firearms.
“The Cabinet has also agreed to table legislation in the National Assembly to increase the penalty for illegal firearms offences from 15 to 25 years in prison,” Dr. Drew stated.
Moreover, the Dr. Drew administration has since commissioned a National Security Task Force that will lead a behavior-changing initiative, “Crime and Violence as a Public Health Issue”.
“This is a more scientific, sustainable and holistic approach to crime fighting, which includes dealing with the issue of violence from a public health perspective,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew. “This multi-pronged approach is built on several pillars that draw on the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders from multiple disciplines to implement a plan of action designed to sustain a culture of non-violence throughout the Federation.”
“I reassure you that our security forces will be unrelenting in working collaboratively in their obligation to preserve law and order in our Federation. Our streets must remain safe so that the law-abiding citizens and residents of our Federation can enjoy their peace and tranquility,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew stated.