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Chastanet Writes Open Letter To Pierre On Crime ‘Crisis’

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Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has written Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre regarding Saint Lucia’s crime ‘crisis’ and noted the need for decisive action to address the problem quickly.

“The intention of this letter is to offer to you some ideas that will help to slow down the current trends and hopefully contribute to a significant longer-term reduction of violent crime,” Chastanet wrote.

“We can learn from the past experience of two government initiatives, the Operation Restore Confidence (ORC) in 2010-11 and the Covid Pandemic of 2019-21,” he stated.

Chastanet’s complete December 8, 2022 letter appears below:

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Dear Honorable Prime Minister,

In view of the prevailing situation of crime and violence in our country, the mounting concerns of the people of Saint Lucia and the need for decisive action to bring this matter under control in the quickest possible time, I write to you in the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship.

In the last couple of weeks, we have seen and experienced unprecedented acts of gun violence in Saint Lucia.

Our people live in fear and our country stands at the precipice of lawlessness. Such acts of violence and crime threaten the very fabric of our society. We are faced with the destruction of families and communities at the hands of criminals. We grapple with the social decay and increased levels of disruption caused by the continued implications of post covid trauma: the recent rise in inflation, supply chain issues, and the Ukraine war.

The instances of crime, in the last two weeks, demand that as a country we move with alacrity to find and implement solutions that would have the effect of bringing internal stability to our country, while at the same time removing the threat that has created fear amongst defenseless people and is paralyzing our economy.

With the state of crime being worse than it has ever been, and the economic implications to follow, we as leaders must come together to fight this scourge. Our very social and economic existence is threatened if we are unable to arrest the growing issue of crime in our country.

The intention of this letter is to offer to you some ideas that will help to slow down the current trends and hopefully contribute to a significant longer-term reduction of violent crime.

It is my strong belief that it’s only through government led coordination with civil society and inclusion of the Opposition that we can create the greatest opportunity for a sustained solution to the problems that we now face and put a stop to the flagrant criminality and terror being perpetrated on the people of Saint Lucia, in particular, the gun related murders that have now reached new levels. 

We can learn from the past experience of two government initiatives, the Operation Restore Confidence (ORC) in 2010-11 and the Covid Pandemic of 2019-21.

While I recognize that there are mixed views on the success of ORC, we must appreciate the fact that most Saint Lucians think it was successful and would welcome its return.

ORC not only produced a dramatic reduction in crime, but also sent criminals into hiding.

What we have learned is the flip side that ORC led to the IMPACS report and allegations of targeted killings which was at the center of sanctions imposed against the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. So, it was not so much the intention but how it was implemented that resulted in the imposition of sanctions.

During Covid the country successfully managed the impact of this global pandemic. During the first six months we had the least number of infections and no deaths.

As we quickly realized that we could not afford to keep our economy closed, we adopted the policy to “co-exist with Covid”. The key was to create a structure that would allow an immediate inter coordination of key agencies and facilitate the inputs of technocrats, policy makers, civil society and the public.

So, a Command Centre made up of government agencies and key technocrats was established and met on a daily basis to share information and to review the effectiveness of the management of the various policies.

The Command Centre provided weekly updates to Cabinet, highlighted inefficiencies and gave recommendations to improve effectiveness. Cabinet then reviewed these reports and recommendations and provided the necessary resources. Through NEMAC, Civil Society was engaged to provide their input.

A Press Conference was then held to inform the public on final decisions taken. The Attorney General’s Office and the Ministry of Finance were integral to the process.

Mr. Prime Minister, I agree with you that crime should not be political and let me further emphasize that, like Covid, crime does not discriminate. I genuinely believe adopting the no tolerance and seriousness of ORC and the transparent and efficient management of Covid should be combined to combat our current crisis. We can only succeed with all of us working together and in coordination.

The United Workers Party believes in a “Secure future for all Saint Lucians”. Crime affects us all and cares not about party or affiliations. It is in this vein that I propose the following initiatives that will assist in immediately addressing the issue of crime and in particular violent crimes in Saint Lucia:

  1. Adoption of the Covid Command Center structure which will now become the Crime Command Centre to offer policy and strategic guidance and expertise on crime fighting initiatives. Identification and recruitment of citizen security experts within and outside the government service to serve as advisors to the Command Center. The Command Centre should be made up of government security, private sector security, and key Ministries; Customs, Immigration and those others involved with security.
  1. Properly appoint dedicated, technical, administrative staff to the Command Centre.
  2. Advance the administration of the Border Control Programme.
  3. Institute an equivalent entity to NEMAC for Crime.
  4. Mandatory polygraphing of Customs and Police officers.
  5. Amendment of licensing requirement for all sea vessels registered in Saint Lucia, making vessel monitoring systems mandatory.
  6. Fast tracking of KLED and CCTV installation.
  7. Rewards programme for information on illegal weapons.
  8. Implementation of court backlog project and bench trials.

Of course, credible leadership is a necessary ingredient and those correctly identified by the IMPACS report and by you and your Party as contributors to crime must be dealt with if we are serious about a solution and the difficult decisions that must be taken, and if you are to be taken credibly.

I sympathize with those who have lost loved ones to, or have been victims of violent crime. We can address this problem through a concerted and united effort.

I am available to discuss this further with you and assure you of my own and my Party’s support.

May God continue to bless our beautiful Saint Lucia.

Sincerely,

Allen M. Chastanet

Leader of the Opposition

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51 COMMENTS

  1. My gracious, Chastanet was prime Minister for 5+ years, Hermangild was Minister, nothing was done to reduce the crime rate. They had no answer whatsoever, today he has answers. Chas why didn’t you implement it when you were PM?
    The problem we have today began under your watch. Who helped to kidnapped? Who wrote Pajoah letter? Chas please keep quiet.

  2. ideas again chas? you giving mate your ideas? the last time you wrote this guy he didn’t take you on, you still writing to him. loool

  3. Pierre and Kenny have been the representatives for some of the most troubled spots in St. Lucia since 1997, ask them what they have done to fight the social decay which is happening.

  4. but messay lets look at that, you know as much as people might not like Allen Chastanet ideas just because he is Allen Chastanet you know Allen Chastanet have more ideas than PJP. compare Allen Chastanet ideas in this report to the nonsense pjp came to say on tv the last time there about crime the guy has no ideas for true he has nothing fresh. Lol they was going and do a state of the art airport for us pjp say no lets go back to the old thing we was using we dont need that. smh

  5. that is the thing people have been saying time and time after that but i can assure you during uwp reign there was way less crime than the two years and remaining three years slp have. How can you judge that government when they only had five years you cant do everything in just five years all of their ideas were cut short. Every time slp in power there is a rise in crime. When velon John was minister you know what he said to the police ? “dont touch my Boys” but he was minister for security under slp. If there are old people here they can remember when odlum gathered a crowd of people to fight and went down to Johnson’s hardware at the time and break into that store and took all the guns Johnson was selling. its from that time the place started having guns. so thats to show you how long a back slp was corrupt.

  6. …..he should wipe his ass with it. LOOK WHO IS TAKING NOW, OH YOU FINALLY HAVE A MOUTH OR DID SOMEONE PULLED OUT THAT GOLD SPOON FROM OUT OF YOU KNOW WHERE/REAR. Learie did you wear gloves ??

  7. some lucians really sickening you know hiding behind all these comeents….i mean for God’s sake even if chas was there and did nothing come on gosh the man is at least offering solutions is take it or leave it and find your own…but dont just stay and say oh the man was there was there was there he did nothing nothing…. my foot..!!! some of you!!!!

    let pjp take the advice or decide on his own but watever the case maybe something needs to happen FAST cuz st lucia will fall into the deep deep pits….

  8. ……..you are lying there not much of a difference, the current homicide is just a few more, the numbers are there for the world to see google it. Gun violence and suicides really took off under The Yellow Reign of Terror his friends in the business community with their container loads of weapons, so many automatic weapons were discovered specialty riffles the list goes on and on, so stop making it seem like since July 21st, 2021, the gun culture started here

  9. At this stage of the game you all can use some serious help. Crime and murder knows no boundaries, has no political affiliation and is heartless – you don’t want this near your abode. Therefore, you all need to work collaboratively in order to curb this – families are crying, citizens are running scared. Fear releases both cortisol and adrenaline and is certainly not healthy for folk to live in constant fear. The whole world is watching this 238 square mile island at the moment–you guys may or may not be aware – your very economy is on the line. Godspeed.

  10. Rewards programme for information on illegal weapons…..If they did this today, right now on all radio stations mandatory broadcasting a reward sum from a cnote to more$$ I bet u people would start talkin for their Christmas money! Just like back in the day during lent you couldn’t even play reggae,no liquor stores were open and now check what’s happening during lent on this island, a lack of sense of structure, religion, prayer, belief, discipline and authenticity to self, thy neighbor and to GOD.
    Mandatory polygraphing of Customs and Police officers.…..is this possible? Does this island have a polygraph!? Than slap every Customs and RSLP member on it starting tomm. Woii that would be a great start if it were feasible! Like the gun sniffing canines! To save face St. Lucia $40,000 grand$.!People around the world are tunin into the horrific mass shootings on this island 27 by 13 miles island!.

  11. This letter should be taken and used as toilet paper! The tenor of this letter has not been sent in good faith. It is a “I blame you” and “I can make it right” letter. Read it with an open mind and you’ll see for yourselves. The level of violence is not unprecedented as the letter states. In 2020, there were 60+ homicides and that was during his administration.

    Again, I think Chas can take this scrap of paper and wipe his a$$ with it and come better than that

  12. I thi k this nut thinks better when in opposition. When hes in power he thinks just like this administration.

  13. ……..old time people use to Bow to Massa now we are in the informative Eara of the internet and cell phones we have discovered the “truth” so now people think with rationale. Can’t play reggae during lent, liquor stores must be close, but they are open the day before and the day after yeah make sense of the rationale of it all

  14. I thought PJP said he will welcome ideas from and work with anyone for solution to the gun violence carnage taking place in our country. So why do some of us are being so ignorant and want to fight for politicians who inevitably don’t give a rat about us. We Lucians will never learn with our political blinders on smh.

  15. Before I say something that’s not factual, what advice did Mr Pierre and his party give to the UWP while they were still in power?

  16. Pierre at this point you are a drowning man who needs help. You should catch on to a straw. This very Straw is the advice from Chas’s letter. In my opinion, you should consider some of these options from the letter while you and your every stake holder works on a long term solution to restore law and order under your administration.

    Do not act as a Mule and let your pride take over – if that happens SLU will suffer and this might not be good on your watch. RIght now you are considered the worst PM in the history of the nation. Imagine you have made Stephenson King look like a perfect prime minister. TIme to change this status and get to work

  17. The fish is just rotting from the head. this is the stench from when lucians voted to kill their own country. u people will stop voting on colour and look at the track record and character of those people u put in office. but nah, your brains cant function that far. its still in monkey mode. too bad the land is paying the price for it now.

  18. If you take your time to read the letter, you would realize that the points made and the suggestions made if implemented and implemented well, can work to help curb crime now and in the future if such suggestions are maintained.
    At the end of the day this party this and party that must stop….it’s sickening…. and as a young St Lucian I can’t even fathom that in the midst of such upsurge in gun violence people still have the heart and the balls to be pointing fingers at party leaders. Remember that they are not the ones feeling the brunt of the burden, you are, your friends are, your neighbours are, your family members are.

    Gosh, clearly the present administration has not put forward any MEANINGFUL measures to help combat crime…so if good suggestions are made,,,tf…..take them.

  19. So then, you’re saying that not one of the suggestions made here can be used?

    I feel like your mind is way tooo open to whatever it is open to that you can’t see some of the suggestions made here are valid.
    😭

  20. I can help but remember when Kenny in opposition said to King on market step “I have the answer to crime” What was amazing as a supporter i stood there waiting for him to say them. he said nothing to that effect. Basically, he was saying i hv the answers vote for me. I always said to myself if this man really cared, and he had the answers why didn’t he share them? I applaud Chas for doing what i thought or expected KDA to do. However, Chas is a has been, then again so is PJP, KDA, King and so many others. the way i see it WE STICK. PJP, is our PM and he has shown his true colours. Look at our cabinet of ministers. PJP, Hilaire, Girard, King, Ricahrd …… Poyotte,Emma. Do any of them inspire any sense of confidence i you or stand out. Choopss Tan.

  21. This is all very hopeless at this point tbh. St. Lucians would rather bath in the blood of their opposition than see the country prosper. Crabs in a barrel mentality. Maybe there will be some divine intervention but the criminals are running things so it seems.

  22. Politricktians in St.Lucia Don’t Give a Damm About the Persons who Gqve them a Job for Five years Whether Slp or Uwp .They only give out Shit During Christmas Time and After Christmas see for yourself .When it Comes to Crime it Don’t affect Ministers of Government nor the Opposition all of them are the Same

  23. …..but hear you and the last paragraph as if to say this present administration enjoying this level of crime how does it benefit them. The UWPEES are the ones seeking political milage out of it or any straw they can grasp at. You yellow Clowns are of the notion crime is an on/off switch; you could put every member of The SLPF on the streets and you will still have crime, there will still be shootings, you can try to reduce crime, but you can’t get rid of it because you can’t tell what’s in the hearts of wicked men and women, [MOST] of the shootings are NOT RANDOM they are targeted by individuals with an axe to grind. We don’t have a gun factory here it’s our own people destroying this country with no care. As it pertains to Allen Chastanet not taking advice from J Pierre is this a rhetorical question?? Are you serious?? There is not enough megabytes for this.

  24. Sir sir lol
    Or mam lol
    Enjoying the level of crime??? How in any way, shape or form did I insinuate that? All I said and I will say it again is that the GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY IE THE SLP, have not implemented any MEANINGFUL measures to try curb the current increase in crime…..in gun violence.

    So you’re saying absolutely nothing can be done on a national scale to help curb the increase in gun violence? Look how simple something is…..you yourslef said guns are not locally made …how do they get into the hands of the local ppl hmmmm?…..Now, what can be done to help REDUCE the inflow of guns to the island???

    Should I spell it out?
    Obviously…..actions need to be taken at our seaports….illegal areas of entry and trust me they know them….scanners for containers and barrels…dogs to sniff out the guns and so on.
    Makes sense right?
    How can these measures be implemented? So my granny have to go stand by wherever to scope out for fishing boats coming in at 2am? LoL….NO
    The government and their various sectors in their capacity need to work together to put measures in place…then the public follows.
    They were elected for a reason right?

    Yes undoubtedly there will always be crime, but once you see that all of a sudden there is an upshot…..something is fundamentally wrong and so as a nation measures can be put in place.

    UWP clowns?? Lol lol
    Please let me inform you that I have only been eligible to vote once, and even then I wasn’t able to. I am intelligent enough to know that no one party is ever responsible for ‘crime’ and unlike some of you one minded individuals i know the difference between good and bad leadership. So mind who you call a clown. I have a brain for myself to know that if a plausible solution is given to a problem which is clear as day why not at least try?

  25. In my personal experience and it is beginning to seem like a law of the universe. Good advice usually comes from the most unlikely places. Children who you always mentor sometimes one day come up to you and say just what you need to hear in a difficult situation. People who have done wrong are sometimes a voice of warning to those they see starting down the same path. All I can say here is, it doesn’t matter where words of wisdom come from. What Mr. Chastanet is proposing makes sense and it can at least be a starting point. This country is in too much deep shit at this moment for this nonsense about this party did this and that party did that. Pure nonsense. If we cannot unite at this point, sorry to say we will sink.

  26. Crime has always existed from the very day humans inhabited the earth and it will sadly continue through their existence. The source of crime originates from the mind and the cause is human relations. We are attempting to remedy externally what is an individual/internal issue. This is so simple : reverse the cause.

    Do the following :

    1) Border protection – Strengthen those agencies with advanced technology and trained personnel
    2) Special patrol units – Have a special unit for patrolling highways and communities 24/7
    3) Increased police presence – Ensure the presence of the police at every 200ft on each major street in castries notwithstanding bicycle patrols
    4) Surveillance – Install trained undercover officers in each community to identify, observe, detect and report suspicious activities
    5) Modern crime fighting equipment – Street cameras, drones, communication,more vehicles, more motorcycles, marine boats etc
    6) Enhanced court systems – Severe penalties and swift prosecution for violators
    7) Suspension of human rights – Curfew restrictions in troubled spots
    8) Religious groups – I need to see you guys out there preaching the TRUTH about salvation. More crusades…..don’t know when last I saw one.

    Follow through with the above and you will have a much better society where the citizens will feel more comfortable in their communities.

  27. It’s all about politics. While we do have a high crime rate which is unacceptable to the population. There should be an understanding that the rise in crime is not only a St. Lucia problem. Crapo done smoke your pipe if you think that the police force we have presently will be effective without the proper training, equipment and help from the communities. It has to start with family, community, village and government all working towards the same goal with a tried and true process which would lead to some form of accountability and decrease in crime. We need to accept the fact that most of those employed as policemen are not qualified for the job. The training which should help with getting the police ready, is lacking. The border control unit is way understaffed not having the equipment required to do their job effectively. We as a community want to see progress, we cannot get back to ORC without a better more effective plan than what was adopted in the last go around,that resulted in the questionable deaths of some individuals. We cannot afford to have another ORC 2.0

  28. Why should you be given an audience when it was under your watch we got the highest percentage increase in homicides (62.5 % 1n 2017)?

  29. The increase in crime rate (consequence) simply confirms an increase in violations (cause) in varying means and patterns. The cause remains, so will the consequences of those actions. It is the law. We created the murder tools and they are being used all over the world although for the wrong reasons.

    Through the implementation of legislative policies, crime can be managed but not eradicated. This calls for courageous, adaptive, ruthless, fearless leaders whose minds have been sufficiently developed to deal the ever-changing nature of crime.

  30. Way to go chas proving that you are the bigger person let’s hope he doesn’t put it in the garbage like before the headless fool

  31. @Lucian758. All I’m saying is that this letter was not written in good faith. The tenor of the message was accusatory. So, Chas can wipe his a$$ with it.

  32. Chuckling in sadness because after all this i font think youve grasped that there is a real issue at hand…..Clearly you don’t like the ex Prime Minister…I respect that…. in fact I really don’t care because that’s not the problem at hand.

    There is a problem…it’s urgent and solutions are needed.

  33. Trend get your facts correct. Highest percentage increase happened under Kenny’s watch in 1998, 90%. Then again under his watch after a drastic decrease from king’s now famous ORC in 2012, which saw us record the highest murder rate and since then it has basically increased every year with just a slight decrease in a year or so in between

  34. Hahaha please tropical trump .. the last time we took your ideas we had to vote you out . Please stop politics where crime is concerned . You played that game with the health sector and took us nowhere . It is a community efforts and socio economic factors need to be address . All you did was put in family friends and foreigners economic factors to play .

  35. There is one person trying to criticise chastanet and writing under different names. he is a labour criminal who is in office or benefiting from the SLP. st lucia is fast becoming a failed state under the SLP. criminals in charge.

  36. Totally agree. The Crow, Guns in the Barrels, Hot Skull and some others are all that nitwit who called herself, The Honourable Lucian Highgrade aka Cornelia Jacob.

  37. I find lucian highgrade very childish to use hot skull as her name the original hot skull supports chas 1000%

  38. MaMalay are you black or white? It appears that you are adoring De Klerk. It’s appears to me you are in South Africa. I don’t blame you.

  39. Stop stop hiding your criminal family members and you will see a drastic reduction in crimes,do that and stop the useless becaring to see a difference

  40. I came to laugh but ended up agreeing with everything chas said, well done. Hope our pm considers this instead of telling us to “confront” the criminals and “work together”

  41. I cant wait for pierres molden hospital to open remember its only an old rotten concrete building with fresh paint,but the spores are waiting to be set free by then he will be gone and the paint will soon bubble n the diseased building will reveal the low IQ of chicken and beer.

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