The Cable

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): National Security Advisor, Major General (Ret.) Stewart Saunders and members of the local media had an opportunity to learn from each other this week during a meet and greet forum at the Ministry of National Security on August 16.

"I think we had a wonderful discussion and at least we know more about each other and what our responsibilities are," said General Saunders, who described the press as being "part and parcel of the stakeholders group" and told them that through the discussion they would find out what he is capable of offering to address the issues that the country is confronted with at this moment in time."I sincerely hope that at the end of the day we'll have a proper understanding as to how we are going to all go forward in concert, in unity to make sure that St. Kitts and Nevis is a better society to live in, in the very near future."

He said, "...I am simply hoping to ensure that we bring a more unified approach to addressing the crime problem, where all our resources can be brought to bear in order to solve the issues that are concerned and obviously that entails ensuring that entities that are involved exhibit far more professionalism, [and have] far better equipment and resources etc., in order to deal with the issues that confront us."

The General went on to add that he was most concerned about the number of homicides when compared to the size of the population and the fact that everybody he has met with shares the concern. "But everybody also feels that at this particular moment in time we are trending in the right direction and they have been very helpful, extremely helpful in, you know, putting their services forward as far as the fight against crime is concerned," General Saunders said.

Major General (Ret.) Stewart Saunders has met with several stakeholders so far as part of his introductory discussions with various stakeholders. He disclosed that he had already met with the Criminal Justice Strategic Board, the Christopher and Nevis Police Force, the St. Kitts and Nevis Defense Force, Her Majesty's Prisons, The Chamber of Industry and Commerce, The St. Kitts Christian Council and St. Kitts Evangelical Association and a number of other stakeholder groups.