Maj Gen Stewart Saunders



Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 05, 2018 (SKNIS): The Ministry of National Security is building a coalition of persons from the public sector and civil society to formulate a strategic plan that is designed to take a robust approach to enhance public safety in St. Kitts and Nevis.


On Wednesday’s (April 04) edition of the radio and television programme “Working for You” National Security Adviser, Major General (Retired) Stewart Saunders, shared some of the details of the National Security Policy (NSP), which is covered in an umbrella plan known as the National Security Architecture. The architecture was presented to the Cabinet late last year and was approved. This sets the wheels in motion to develop the NSP.


“We have to develop and be able to sustain a society that is safe, secure and stable with a high respect for law and order,” Maj. General Saunders said, outlining the objectives of the policy. “We have to remove the profit from crime; we have to develop and maintain an effective justice delivery system; we have to ensure policing by consent, and dismantling of the gangs is critical, which we are all working towards.”


As part of this strategy document, there will be a review of public sector ministries, departments and agencies; the development and implementation of various social intervention programmes and appropriate management structures; and the provision of training, education and development opportunities to enhance the capacity of local law enforcement.


In touching on the review of government institutions, Maj. General Saunders noted that he was chiefly referring to the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force, St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, Her Majesty’s Prison, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department, and others involved in homeland protection. He said that there must be a coordination of intelligence matters among the agencies and consideration is likely to be given to incorporating private security firms to assist security efforts.


The strategic plan also envisions “improved coordination of ministries of government, again all aligned in the national security effort, and the development of proper management of government-approved national social intervention programmes and policies to effectively address the social and psychological problems impacting society and to enhance the fight against crime,” Maj. General Saunders stated.


The national security adviser added that what was most important was the “proper resourcing and coordination of law enforcement efforts in the fight against crime.”


Groups and individuals at risk from antisocial elements will be targeted to benefit from positive developmental opportunities while governance and management oversight structures and mechanisms will be enhanced to ensure that NSP strategies are effective and sustainable.

Government officials expect to finalize the membership of the committee by the end of April, 2018.


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