New Initiatives for Crime Fighting

The government has said it will also strengthen legislation to help create a more effective response to what they are calling the changing nature of criminal activity and to support the judiciary in the execution of its duties.

These were some of the measures highlighted in the Budget Presentation on Tuesday 9th April, 2013, by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Denzil Douglas.

Included in the new initiatives are The Jury Act which is to modernize and enhance the performance of the jury system, the Bail Act which governs the granting and restriction of bail, as well as the Justice Protection Act that provides protection for witnesses and judges where necessary. Recent amendments were also made to the Proceeds of Crime Act (2000), the Anti-Terrorism Act (2002), and the Immigration Act (2002).

The Minister of Finance also disclosed that an Anti-Robbery Team, Firearms Tracking Investigation Unit and Arson Investigation Unit will be created to “buttress (the) crime reduction plan.

Government has expressed the hope that The Anti-Robbery Team will comprise officers from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and the Customs and Excise Department. The Firearms Tracking Unit, which is said to be the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean, will make use of a number of equipment and training of personnel to trace and process illegal firearms. Support for this unit will be provided by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

The Arson Investigation Unit comprises officers from the police and fire services department. “The Arson Investigation Unit will also receive assistance from the ATF to enhance capacity in this specialised area to investigate fire offences and deter crimes which target our expanding residential public and business infrastructure,” Prime Minister Douglas expressed.

The pledge was made for Government to continue to invest in the enhancement of skills, equipment and infrastructure to improve the output of the security forces and utilize new approaches and legislation in order to ensure a holistic approach in maintaining law and order.

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