Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 14, 2017 (SKNIS): The Honourable Senator Akilah Byron Nisbett, is throwing her full support behind the Firearms Amendment Bill, 2017, which is a Bill that seeks to enforce stiffer penalties on gun-related crimes.
Speaking on day two of National Assembly on Wednesday, June 14, Senator Byron-Nisbett said that the idea of bringing into force a Bill of this nature is testament to the government’s hard work in ensuring that citizens and residents are safe.
“This is government at work ensuring that at the legislative level we give support to the justice system so as to be certain that they are able to effectively carry out their mandate of protecting the citizens of our country with strong and firm convictions,” said the Senator. “Mr. Speaker, it should be noted, however, that the legislative response is but one part of the collective effort necessary to fight and prevent crime and most specifically that of violent gun-related crime. Beyond legislation there are other factors that contribute to crime fighting effort. Component number one of this effort Mr. Speaker is for us to ensure that our law enforcement agencies are equipped with the necessary support and resources required for their efforts.”
The Senator reflected on her Budget presentation in December 2016 where she highlighted that the federation’s law enforcement agencies through the Budget presentation for 2017 were being empowered at a very high level never seen before in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis.
… “Indeed there has been traction in the efforts to empower our enforcements as outlined in the Budget. We heard the Prime Minister speak to the fact that within the 2017 Budget we saw the highest level of budgetary support to National Security at EC $72 million. This Mr. Speaker, is an effort to fight crime,” she said. “We heard him speak of the investment in technology with the inclusion of a comparison microscope that has helped the police match weapons to multiple crime scenes and incidents. This Mr. Speaker, is an investment in crime fighting initiative.”
Still on crime fighting initiatives, the Senator spoke to the opening of the second high court, which was opened to speed up the backlog of cases, as well as the possible allocation of lands to be made available to persons who have had previous run-ins with the law “in efforts to assist them to reintegrate meaningfully back into society”.
“We should take note of the work that has already begun for the building of a new correctional facility at Estridge. This facility, Mr. Speaker, will serve not only a holding cell but a rehabilitation facility that will assist in efforts of reshaping the mindset of persons who have already fallen into the trap of a life of criminality,” she said.
Senator Byron-Nisbett wished the Firearms Amendment Bill 2017 safe passage, as it will redound to the benefit of all citizens and residents.