PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY REQUIRE REGIONAL INVOLVEMENT OF MEMBER STATES, SAYS SENIOR MINISTER AMORY

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 07, 2017 (SKNIS): The importance of having a single Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) police force was raised at a recently held OECS Authority Press Briefing at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Auditorium in St. Kitts by Senior Minister and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory, who in support of the idea stated that there is the need for “greater security within our individual states and within the region as whole”.

Premier Amory said that the matter of public safety and security is real and should be addressed from a regional level.

“This matter of regional concerns about security and safety is one which is real and one which has to be tackled with regional cooperation until we get to the next stage of forging a single unit, whether it is a police force or a single army,” he said. “But we also look at the cooperation among CARICOM because we have the Regional Security System (RSS), which was invited into our country to assist with the heightened security, so we are mindful of that need and I am sure that Prime Minister Harris and Minister of National Security is very supportive of any effort through cooperation and collaboration for the preservation of security among our region.”

He said that technology plays a big role in the safety and security of any country.

“I think with the existence and the proliferation of the technology and the communication equipment which have in fact enabled the communication among people intent on destroying or weakening the security of our region, that this is something that has to be tackled through the cooperation and collaboration among the different states within the OECS,” said the premier. “I believe that all of us recognize that the criminal element of the threat to security does not exist in a vacuum in any single nation and we are of the view that there is interrelationship between that threat.

The senior minister made mention of a recent incident that occurred in St. Kitts which involved the movement of illegal drugs from another country and which resulted in an individual being injured. He noted that this is need for concern and should be looked into not just from a national level, but also from a regional standpoint. He commended the local security forces for their efforts in ensuring that the drugs did not make it on to the streets.

“We are not happy when we have any kind of serious outcomes to police intervention, but it is clear that we are faced with very serious regional threats to our security and it means that we have to have a regional response,” he said. “…even if there is not the single OECS police force, there has to be and there continues to be the cooperation and collaboration between the security forces to give that regional protection against the criminal element which is a threat to our security. I think it is something which we know. The threat to security or the weakening of our security and safety are threat to our economic development and that clearly is a very big issue.”

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