Thursday 18 July, 2019

St Kitts-Nevis sings the praise of Jamaican General, Stewart Saunders

Retired Major General, Stewart Saunders

Retired Major General, Stewart Saunders

The St Kitts-Nevis Government has lauded the work of its Jamaican National Security Advisor, Retired Major General Stewart Saunders, who has been credited with a significant contribution to noticeable improvements in the twin-island state’s security apparatus and crime figures.

Major General Saunders, who retired as Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in 2010, also served as Permanent Secretary in the National Security Ministry in Jamaica.

But while his services in Jamaica did not come in for any particularly ringing note, the authorities in St Kitts-Nevis have cited continued strengthening of both manpower and equipment, along with the employment of new strategies and tactics, implementation of social intervention programmes; and other related measures that have collectively resulted in a sustained downward trend in crime there over recent years.

A release from the Office of the Prime Minister highlighted the completion of phase one of the closed circuit television (CCTV) project that saw 345 cameras being mounted around the capital, Basseterre, and its environs; the growth of the Explorers’ Movement that positively engaged children; and the ongoing training of 37 recruits at the Police Training Complex, as some of the initiatives that have enhanced citizen security in the country.

In the mix, General Saunders came in for really special mention.

“… one point that the federal government officials insist should not be overlooked is the contribution of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major General Stewart Saunders,” said the release.

In a recent broadcast, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris said: “Major General Saunders took up the post as NSA on August 1, 2017. He possesses over 40 years of distinguished public service in Jamaica, where he regularly engaged in developing anti-crime strategies at operational and policy levels. In St Kitts and Nevis, his duties involve advising the government on matters relating to national security; assisting in the co-ordination of national security activities among various government agencies; encouraging and facilitating co-operation among national security agencies; and instituting structures and systems to ensure effectiveness and efficacy in the delivery of national security services.

“We are satisfied up to this day, that he has added value to the work, and the work is largely advisory, the work is largely setting systems in place, and we are getting there,” added Dr Timothy Harris.

Commissioner of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Ian Queeley, also lauded General Saunders, saying on Thursday that the general was doing “a commendable job”.

Queeley said Saunders provides “sound advice to the police force” and his vast experience and wide knowledge have added “great value to the national security architecture”.

Head of the St Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKDDF), Lieutenant Colonel J Anthony Comrie, also credited Saunders for helping to enhance operational standards at Camp Springfield.

“The SKNDF has nothing but praise for the national security adviser,” Lt Colonel Comrie said.

Saunders was cited as having assisted in accessing local and regional training for the members of the defence force in a variety of areas, including courses from the University of the West Indies. Other areas cited included enhancing the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the organisation, and recommending best practices to improve its operations.

The national security advisor was also noted to have advised on specialised training for security officials to address issues of national security and crisis management.

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