Parliament Establishes Select Committee on Crime and Violence

Parliament Establishes Select Committee on Crime and
Violence and authorizes operationalisation of anti-crime strategy

Basseterre, St. Kitts, (CUOPM) –

A resolution authorising the operationalisation of the anti-crime strategy and the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Crime and Violence was passed in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly on Friday afternoon.

In submitting the resolution following a four day session of the lawmaking body, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas pointed out that then Minister of National Security, Hon. Sam Condor at a June 2nd meeting of the National Assembly, proposed an anti-crime strategy to address crime and violence.

The strategy included enactment of new legislation to address crime and violence especially related to gang activity and a review of the penalties under existing legislation; more effective and proper enforcement of existing legislation through the provision of required equipment, weapons, vehicles, and other necessary tools to the Police and the Defence Force; provision of necessary training of police officers in various disciplines, including, effective investigation techniques, intelligence gathering techniques, interrogation techniques and forensic science and consultation and collaboration with ally countries to upgrade arrangements for surveillance of the Federation’s seas and borders.

It will also involve the commissioning and upgrading of the Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV); use of Island Constables under the Island Constables Act, No. 31 of 2009; increase police presence in communities with significant criminal activity and intensify raids to deter the possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs and implementation or introduction of various measures to increase the potential for individual citizens and residents to protect themselves, including, the provision of duty free concessions on surveillance and burglar alarm systems for citizens and residents.

Every effort will also be made to improve communication and cooperation to increase public confidence and foster a relationship with the police and to encourage public participation in the fight against crime; appoint a cross-sectoral, high powered commission to advise on and monitor implementation of the medium and long term solutions recommended by the National Implementation Task Force on Crime or otherwise approved and capacity building and strengthening of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Crime and Violence will advise Parliament on matters that are to be the subject to legislative action in relation to crime and violence; prepare a Report on its findings and opinions on the Gang (Prohibition and Prevention) Act Bill and on reports emanating from the National Consultations undertaken by the Ministry responsible for the anti-crime strategy.

The Committee will also report on the result of the provision of the required equipment, weapons, vehicles and other necessary tools to the Police and Defence Force and on the result of the provision of the necessary training of Police Officers in effective investigation and intelligence gathering techniques.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Crime and Violence will be chaired by the Attorney General, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett.

Other members are Minister responsible for Homeland Security, the Hon. Sam Condor; Minister responsible for Community Development, the Hon. Marcella Liburd; Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Mark Brantley and one other member of the opposition.

Photo by Erasmus Williams

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