The Cable

Basseterre, St. Kitts: Enhancing Security in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) was the focus of recent meeting of Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of National Security and Commissioners of Police from the Member States held in St. Kitts and Nevis on Thursday (June 8).

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mr Osmond Petty,  Commissioner of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Mr Ian M. Queeley and Deputy Commissioner Mr. Hilroy Brandy joined their counterparts from Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and Grenadines and representatives from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the Regional Security System (RSS) at the meeting.  

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Dwight Simplicius Lay, Counsel General of the OECS and co-chaired by Mr Osmond Petty, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of National Security, St. Kitts and Nevis. 

The visiting Permanent Secretaries and Commissioners participated in discussions on the subjects of  Greater Collaboration and Cooperation amongst agencies within the region,  Border Security, ongoing Drug Interdiction Efforts, Law Enforcement,  Exchanging and Sharing of Best Practices and  Intelligence Sharing to enhance greater Operational Capabilities.  

Building capacity was also one of the key areas discussed with consideration given to the sharing of specialized services such as Crime Scene Management and Forensics, fighting Cyber Crimes and Financial Crimes. The sharing of assets through learning attachments and exchanges was also explored. 

Crime Prevention and  Engaging Youth towards embracing positive and productive lifestyles were also addressed including the embrace of best practices of youth programs across the region.

One of the outputs of the meeting was the laying of a foundation for a  draft collaborative framework to be developed for review and adaption by the OECS Authority. 

Commissioner of Police Mr Ian M. Queeley in commenting on the conference said, "meetings like these serve our regional Police Services well.  Everything we discuss is in an attempt to strengthen the resolve in our territories to ensuring Citizen Safety within our individual borders and in the union.  It is an opportunity to share and use our peers as sounding boards for some of the challenges we all face. "  He added, "this particular meeting was very encouraging in that great emphasis was placed on increased collaboration both from an operational standpoint and from the organizational support levels with initiatives such as cross-decking of personnel."  Commissioner Queeley noted, "I look forward to the adaptation of the framework developed and to see it implemented as a guiding doctrine for enhancement of our sub-regional security organizations."

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