PM HARRIS EMPHASIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS TO REFOCUS AT RISK YOUTH
Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 10, 2017 (SKNIS): The increased activities and operations by the security forces, which have enhanced the safety and security environment in St. Kitts and Nevis, have been welcomed by the public, and drawn commendation from Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
While addressing the National Assembly on Thursday’s (August 10), Prime Minister Harris spent much of his presentation on national security, referencing the focused activities to engage the public and foster better relations between the security forces and the community.
“We want to commend all the agencies of national security for their special outreach,” Dr. Harris stated. These include the July 10 to 14 Summer Safety Camp by the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services and also the participation of police officers, who served as dorm leaders and facilitators at the Department of Youth Empowerment’s Annual Summer Residential Camp that ran from July 16 to 30. More than 800 young people were impacted during these two programmes alone.
Recognition was also given to the Community Policing Initiative of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), which includes the inaugural Police Summer Camp scheduled for August 14 to 27, hosting town hall meetings and other engagements with community members, reviving the Teens and Police Service (TAPS) programme in high schools, enhancing the school liaison programme, fostering relations with community groups, and others.
“This effort to improve interaction with the communities around the federation and to engage our young people, who are involved in gangs or at risk of gang membership, as well as their parents and other stakeholders, is being supported by Dr. Neals Chitan and a team of nine police officers. So far the response has been quite good,” the prime minister added.
Dr. Chitan is an International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, who has been working with public and private stakeholders, educational institutions, community groups and individuals to address the root causes of crime and implement initiatives to mitigate such. His services were contracted by the Ministry of National Security in 2016.
Prime Minister Harris explained that government’s strategies will continue to involve “hard policing initiatives” and “social interventions” to enhance public safety.