PHOTO: Newly-appointed National Security Advisor Major General Stewart Saunders being interviewed by reporters following this week’s meeting (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts-
Members of the local media on Wednesday 16th August met with the newly-appointed National Security Advisor Major General Stewart Saunders at the Ministry of National Security located on Liverpool Rowe in Basseterre.

More than six reporters attended that session hosted by Saunders of Jamaica who is two weeks into his post.

As gathered, he is expected to serve in that contract position for a period of two years.

Some of the topics covered in the meeting included what changes he intends to bring to the security forces, a general analysis of the crime situation and of course the controversial May 2010 deadly Tivoli Gardens operation in Jamaica involving military and police forces aimed at capturing popular drug lord and Shower Posse leader Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, a subject raised by this reporter along with another media colleague.


Newly appointed National Security Advisor Major General Stewart Saunders while addressing members of the media (Spokesman Snap)

Following the meeting which went on for over an hour, Saunders had this to say:

“I think we had a wonderful discussion and at least we know more about each other and what our responsibilities are. So far I have met with a number of stakeholders, the Criminal Justice Strategic Board, the police force, the military, Her Majesty’s Prisons, the Chamber of (Industry and) Commerce and a number of individuals and I sincerely hope that at the end of the day we’ll have a proper understanding as to how we are all going to move forward in consulting unity to make sure that St.Kitts-Nevis is a better society to live in the very near future.”

He also talked about the purpose of meeting with members of the press that day.

“The purpose of this meeting right now is for me to learn from you who are part and parcel of the stakeholders groups and for you to learn more about me and what I’m capable of offering to address the issues that are confronting us at this particular moment in time.”

Asked what changes he hopes to bring in fighting crime, Saunders responded: “I am simply hoping to ensure that we bring a more unified approach to addressing the crime problem so that all of our resources can be brought to bear in order to solve the issues and concern that are and obviously that entails ensuring that entities that are involved exhibit far more professionalism, are far better equipped and resourced etc. in order to deal with the issues that confront us.”

Additionally, when questioned about what is the most pressing issue in regard to the crime fight in St.Kitts-Nevis, he pointed to the reduction of homicides.

“The most pressing need right now is to reduce the number of homicides that happening in society and so far thing have been trending in the right direction.”

According to Saunders: “When compared to the size of the population and the fact that everyone that I have met with shares the concern but everyone also feels that at this particular moment in time, we are trending in the right direction and they have been helpful; extremely helpful in putting their services forward as far as the fight against crime is concerned.”