Christmas is, for many of us, the favourite time of the year; it certainly is mine. The enchantment and wonder of the season can be seen, heard and felt all across our beautiful nation – in its churches, homes, stores, and streets.
The bright, cascading lights of the season not only warm our hearts, but also offer the assurance of safety and security as we go about our lives, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and enjoying the Carnival activities in the company of family and friends.
I am reminded now of the Book of James, which says in chapter 1 and verse 17 that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Such excellent dependability in an ever-changing world is something that you, as leaders and rank-and-file members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, should strive to maintain each and every year – for, as our people find a sense of ease in the season’s bright lights so too are they comforted by the year-round presence and reliability of the Police Force.
Cognizant of this, my Team Unity Government is focused, year in and year out, on achieving results and utilizing all available security assets to ensure the safety and security of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
In order to accomplish our targets, we have significantly increased the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of National Security every year for the last three years and we are set to do so again in 2019. We have committed to the Ministry of National Security a record high allocation in the amount of $79.8 million for 2019, a more than five percent increase over 2018.
As we make this pledge to intensify our support for the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and other security forces, we commend all of you for the great strides in crime-fighting that were achieved this year.
This year witnessed the largest ammunition find ever made in the Federation, as well as a number of serious crimes being solved directly as a result of camera footage analysed at the CCTV Command Centre and also as a result of fingerprinting and ballistics testing conducted at the state-of-the-art Forensics Laboratory.
The country also saw the arrival of Regional Security System (RSS) officers who have been assiduously working alongside our officers throughout St. Kitts and Nevis in supporting the Ministry of National Security’s strategic initiatives. We acted on the advice of the Police High Command and the senior management of the Ministry of National Security in inviting the RSS officers, and they will maintain a presence here as necessary. Notably, the additional crime-fighting resources have facilitated 24-hour police presence and coverage in key communities known as crime hotspots.
We expect that in 2019 you will build on the momentum gained by the sustained influx of relevant and updated high-tech crime-fighting tools, and the influx of manpower, including the addition of 34 new police recruits from Recruit Class 42.
Next year will see the further extension of my Government’s vision of ensuring the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force is a modern, successful law enforcement agency, which is well regarded by the public. This vision includes augmenting the investigative capabilities of the Police Force; expanding the CCTV project into the rural areas, and strengthening support for community policing and social intervention initiatives such as the widely hailed Explorers Youth Clubs and the Teens and Police Service (TAPS) Programme.
As we stand on the cusp of a promising New Year, I thank you for your enthusiasm, dedication and productivity and look forward to your continued loyal service. Lastly, but certainly not least, I give my unfailing assurance that the Government and people of this great country will always stand beside you in standing up for what is right and just.
May you and your loved ones have a blessed and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year!