Participants, facilitators and other officials take a group photo after the RSS crime scene training
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (SKNIS) -- Thirty law enforcement personnel from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and host St Kitts and Nevis have completed five days of crime scene training organised under the Regional Security System (RSS) Training Institute.
The crime scene first responders course 1/2014, held at the Police Training Complex in Basseterre, ran from January 20 to 24. It was designed to strengthen officers’ role and responsibilities when responding to scenes and to develop the respondents’ capacity to secure, preserve, maintain and handover scenes with minimum contamination or destruction of physical evidence. It also sought to enhance officers’ awareness of forensic science and provide them with the knowledge of foreseeing attendance duties.
RSS director of training Yvonne Alexander noted that, while the course was intensive, based on the relative short period of time, she was pleased that the participants “rose to the occasion.” The assistant commissioner of police (ACP) explained that the response and attitudes of law enforcement officers to reports play, an important role in shaping how the public perceives the police.
“Although the RSS Training Institute is still in its infancy, we are continuously considering how to position ourselves to be relevant and to add value to the security infrastructure of our member states,” ACP Alexander stated. “… in relation to crime scene management we are aiming to have as many [trained] individuals as possible so that every first respondent to a crime scene will have the level of competence required to ensure the security of the scene, thereby greatly increasing the rate of crime detection and enhancing the success of our criminal investigation process.”
The RSS is based in Barbados and is charged with the mission “to ensure the stability and well-being of member states through mutual cooperation in order to maximize regional security in preserving the social and economic development of our people.”
Permanent secretary in the Anti-Crime Unit of St Kitts and Nevis Astona Browne explained that the RSS has made its mark through training over the years. She referred to the recent groundbreaking of a multipurpose training center for security forces in the Federation and mentioned that partnerships with regional agencies and friendly governments will continue to ensure that the expertise shared at the center will have a profound impact.
“The threats that are emerging are real and we must be cognizant of the fact that our islands are not immune from the effects of transnational organized crimes,” stressed Browne, who also is the Federation’s Commissioner to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). “We must take advantage of every opportunity to develop new skills, new expertise as they evolve.”
… Be not complacent,” Browne implored the participants. “But be ambitious and seize every opportunity to advance yourself professionally and academically.”
While expanding on the reference to friendly governments, Browne pointed to funding and technical assistance received from the government of Canada in various areas and expressed “profound appreciation” noting that such partnerships are necessary to promote safety and stability in the Caribbean.