PM Assures Fight Back Against Gun Violence By Security Forces

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Terrance Drew has revealed that the Security Forces will implement five major initiatives to counter an increase in gun violence and major crimes in St. Kitts and Nevis. He made the disclosure while addressing the nation in the wake of 4 shooting murders in less than 2 days.

While strongly denouncing the violence and appealing to the public to increase cooperation with the Security Forces, Prime Minister Drew outlined the new measures. These include increased security presence in our communities through various methods, further engagement of regional and international security experts to work along with our forces, strengthening of the intelligence capabilities of the security forces, expansion of the CCTV infrastructure island-wide and enhancement of evidence gathering capabilities to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Additionally, Cabinet has also agreed to table legislation in the National Assembly to increase the penalty for illegal firearms offences from 15 to 25 years in prison.

“Our streets must remain safe so that the law-abiding citizens and residents of our Federation can enjoy their peace and tranquility,” the Minister with responsibility for National Security emphasized.

“Every endeavor should be made to preserve life and maintain the safety of our people,” Dr. Drew added.

The Prime Minister indicated that although he believed in second chance opportunities for citizens and residents who have broken the law, second opportunities are not to be given to repeat criminal activity.

He also frowned on the monetization of crime management.

“The present upsurge in criminal activity is a natural and direct result of the monetization of crime management. Similar methods were tried and failed in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Haiti and El Salvador, for example. In every occasion it resulted in what we are seeing right now in our Federation,” The PM said.

Dr. Drew concluded by assuring the public that his government continues to push for reform within the ongoing Peace Program, with rehabilitation at the core of the initiative.

The High Command of the Police Force and the Security Forces are having a press conference later today, June 7, to elaborate on plans to address crime and violence.

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