HOMICIDES IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS DROP BY 48 PERCENT IN 2019 AMID OVERALL REDUCTION IN CRIME

Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 12, 2019 (SKNIS): Homicides in St. Kitts and Nevis have fallen by 48 percent amid an overall drop in crime of 27 percent, according to Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, in delivering his Budget Address 2020 on December 12 under the theme “Let’s Keep Building a Strong and Safer Future for St. Kitts and Nevis”.

“Mr. Speaker, this Budget continues to deliver a safer future for our people. The Statistics show that the number of homicides, particularly homicides related to gang violence, as well as other major crimes, is at the lowest for the last 14 years,” said Prime Minister Harris, while highlighting that “this historic success vindicates the significant and targeted increases in budgetary allocation to National Security in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and the increase that would be proposed for the 2020 Budget.”

The amount allocated for National Security for 2020 is $99.2 million—63.5 million for recurrent expenditure and 35.7 million for capital expenditure, which is a 5 percent increase over 2019.

Prime Minister Harris said that monies allocated to National Security have been used on “prioritized training, forensics, CCTV Programmes, improvement in the physical environment for the Security Forces, psychological support and security gadgets.”

The Minister of National Security said that the Alternative Lifestyle Pathway Project, which is funded by the Government through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis is reaping good benefits by providing “support to a broad cross section of troubled youths.”

“It enables individuals to receive financing and technical support for the establishment of entrepreneurial projects, or for their involvement in community development initiatives,” he said, while noting that the At-Risk-Youths took the first step in approaching the Security Forces for help to escape a life of crime.

Prime Minister Harris outlined that in order to “to lock in the gains we have achieved”, a new programme will be spearheaded by the Ministry of National Security “to support existing and future social interventions that will be included in the medium to long term framework.”

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