BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 9TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) — Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who is the Minister of National Security, announced in his Budget Address on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 that the year 2017 will see the installation of security systems in all schools.

In early 2016, HD Security Services, a local security-consulting firm, installed security systems at Cayon High School, and next week will start the installation of security systems at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School in Sandy Point, as well as Saddlers High School, Verchilds High School, and Washington Archibald High School.

Mr. Michael Gumbs, the General Manager of HD Security Services, told the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister that his company has donated the security systems to be used at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School. The 39-year-old businessman was born and raised in Sandy Point and graduated from Charles E. Mills Secondary School.

Prime Minister Harris also said in his Budget Address that, “It has been found that our children, from as early as nine years old, become involved in troubled youth groups which potentially could lead them into becoming fully-fledged members of gangs if they are left without proper mentoring.”

During a security meeting in October, Captain Kayode Sutton of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force recounted an incident that he said occurred about three or four years ago.

“I was driving on Fort Thomas Road…and from the corner of my eye, I thought I saw some children smoking. When I stopped, it happened to be a nine-year-old and a seven-year-old. They were on tricycles. The younger one was so young that he didn’t realize what he was doing. He kept calling ‘Army Man’ and he held on to the spliff, but the older one dropped it,” Captain Sutton said, adding: “So I got out of my vehicle and I went across and tried to talk to them. I noticed that the older one was holding the bike closely, so I became suspicious. When I pulled the bike away and pulled the seat, I found out that the pipe was stocked with drugs. He was a courier…I called the police. This happened about nine o’ clock in the morning. When I called about three o’ clock in the afternoon to follow up on the incident, no one had shown up for the children.”

Captain Sutton also recalled a situation where a male student had denied the entry of a teacher into his classroom because he was inside selling drugs on behalf of one of his parents.

The installation of security systems should therefore go a long way towards deterring the dealing of drugs on school campuses, as well as improving the school environment by making more students and staff members comfortable and free from fear.