BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 26, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Over the last four years, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has taken a comprehensive approach and has committed significant resources to support the efforts of the security forces to support crime reduction and prevention activities, highlighted by year on year increase in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of National Security.
This has resulted in the procurement of additional vehicles for security forces, extensive refurbishment of infrastructure and upgrade of police equipment.
However, a key element of the government’s holistic approach to addressing crime and other social issues in the country has been contracting experienced security and psychological specialists to advise and work along with local law enforcement. This includes professionals such as Psychologist Dr. Cherese Godwin.
“For the first time we have recruited a psychologist and attached her to the Ministry of National Security where she is available to all of our law enforcement officers,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris at a recent police press conference.
Dr. Harris added, “We also have brought on board and are grateful for the services and support of Dr. Sharon Gopaul-McNicol, who is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist of international fame and experience, and I want to say that so far all of her services have been rendered absolutely free.”
In 2017, retired Major General Stewart Saunders was brought in as the country’s National Security Advisor. Major General Saunders came to the position with a wealth of experience in the management of natural and man-made disasters, crime management, public safety and security, crisis management, security and risk assessments.
Additionally, the Government had contracted the services of International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, Dr. Neals Chitan, who introduced his “Stop ‘n’ Think” project in St. Kitts and Nevis to help individuals, families and communities to deal with a number of behavioural issues and criminal tendencies.
Dr. Chitan also launched his three-pronged SKN Gang Bridge Programme which targeted grade six students in the first instance. The second component involved community empowerment, while the third component looked at providing support for residents at the prisons in St. Kitts and in Nevis.
In 2018, Mrs. Latoya Lake-Marshall was introduced as the Director of Forensics with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force. Mrs. Lake-Marshall brought with her more than 16 years of experience while working with the Forensic Identification Unit of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.