Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, declaring that the vexing issue of crime constituted the ‘monster in the room’, has reiterated the need for zero tolerance of criminal activity.
Pierre spoke on the issue in a New Year address on Sunday night.
If, as a people, we can all adopt a zero-tolerance attitude to crime, whether it involves running a red light, knowingly driving a vehicle unfit for the road, tossing garbage and broken furniture into the river, child molestation, or peddling untruths on social media, chances are we will think a lot harder about arming ourselves with illegal weapons, to kill, injure or rob our fellow citizens,” Pierre asserted.
Referring specifically to the increase in gun-related criminality, he expressed sincere hope that newly-enacted laws would have the desired effect.
The Castries East MP and National Security Minister referred to recent discussions with the governments of the United States and France regarding help in the anti-crime fight.
And he expressed confidence that Saint Lucia would get promised assistance in resolving the issues relating to illegal drugs, gun trafficking, and unsolved homicides.
In addition, he recalled that in recent weeks the public would have read of several successful police raids resulting in the seizure of dozens of weapons, high-powered automatic firearms, and ammunition.
“The raids will continue this year with increased intensity,” Pierre announced.
“The government acknowledges and thanks the successful special efforts by the police under its new Commissioner that resulted in a peaceful 2022 Christmas.,” he stated.
In addition, Pierre said he did not doubt that the police would prove similarly effective throughout 2023.
“Crime must be everyone’s concern. As your Prime Minister, I took an oath to keep all who live in or visit our country safe. I fully intend to do everything necessary to deliver on that pledge,” the PM said.
“My family and I have been victims of crime. I know only too well how traumatic it can be to have one’s home violated or attempts to tarnish one’s reputation. All Saint Lucians must come together to defeat this crime pandemic. It’s a life and death situation that we cannot afford to lose,” Pierre declared.