BASSETERRE, St. Kitts & Nevis: In his New Year’s address, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas said although the nation has achieved significant progress in human development, crime and recurring acts of violence among certain segments of the young population continue to be a challenge.
“It is clear that this problem is multifaceted and I am certain that many of our innovations in the social sector and in the education system will in the long term ensure that less and less of our young people drop out of our schools and other social institutions to pursue deviant lifestyles,” said Dr. Douglas, who pledged to step up activities to deal with the criminality that continues to plague the society and urged all to join in the fight against crime.
During his address, Douglas, who is also Minister of National Security, said several initiatives were taken to grapple with the problem.
“We have stepped up our patrols, we have introduced a gun control unit, we have strengthened our laws that penalize violent crimes, we have introduced closed circuit TV as both a deterrent and the means of crime detection, we have exposed our law officers to advanced training in the use of the latest law enforcement methods and technologies, and we have procured technical assistance from law enforcement agencies in advanced countries to assist the police in the implementation of a crime fighting plan,” said Douglas. He also said government intends to commit more resources to the modernization of the security forces this year.
In calling on all members of society to join the fight against crime, the Prime Minister urged families to take responsibility for the young people under their care.
“I urge our schools to be more vigilant in monitoring our children and initiating action in respect of early signs of deviant behaviour or psychological problems; I urge our church to enhance their outreach activities with a view to bringing more of our young to a recognition of their duty to the Almighty God; and I urge all of our citizens to participate in the crusade against crime by assisting our law enforcement officers and providing timely information to them as they seek to arrest this plague,” said Douglas.
In addition, Douglas said all citizens must resolve to work hard in order to build a new and improved nation.