Opposition leader Allen Chastanet believes that judges must face some pressure amid a surge in violent crime, resulting in 66 homicides this year.
“We keep on thinking that just because the judicial system is an independent department that putting pressure on them is not right. I think that we have to put pressure on the Judges,” the former Saint Lucia Prime Minister told a news conference on Wednesday.
Chastanet indicated that the judicial system has been too lenient in granting bail to people with previous criminal records and illegal guns.
“It has to change,” the Micoud South MP asserted.
And he called for a continuation of anti-crime policies the UWP had while in office.
“We were proceeding to get scanners not only for barrels but scanners for containers. That’s why we wanted to move the containers outside of Castries into Cul de Sac,” Chastanet recalled.
He observed that removing guns would involve strengthening the borders to reduce the influx of firearms and having an active campaign to eliminate illegal guns and ammunition already here.
But Chastanet said he understood that the government, having received software for the border control, is not proceeding with the initiative.
According to the UWP leader, the purpose of border control was to separate the revenue collection and the security side of customs.
Chastanet also noted sniffer dogs were in place under his administration to assist with evidence collection, along with some 200 cameras between Gros Islet and Castries.
“The intention was to put 1800 cameras,” Chastanet told reporters.
However, he lamented that the project was incomplete one and a half years later.
Chastanet also mentioned the forensic laboratory was closed due to structural problems when the UWP came into office in 2016.
He told reporters that the UWP government resurrected it.
“It is a holistic approach,” Chastanet stated, adding that regarding social interventions, the UWP had presented its ‘Five for Five’ campaign initiative, a significant part of which was improving the minimum standard of living in the country.
In addition, the former Prime Minister highlighted his former administration’s sports programmes.