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Minister Says No Need To Panic As Authorities Seek Wards Who Escaped From BTC

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Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Joachim Henry has announced the immediate strengthening of security at the Boys Training Centre (BTC) where four wards escaped on Tuesday, and stated there was no need for panic.

“I am not able to say that persons should not be vigilant generally, but the wards who are there I do not think that there is a need for persons to panic. This has happened – the wards will return, the police would get them and return them but of course we should always be on our guard,” Henry told a news conference on Thursday.

The Minister disclosed that the authorities are pursuing the escapees.

But in the meantime, he confirmed an increase in BTC security.

“We understand that we are dealing with older wards than before based on the legislation, so wards who are now below eighteen- more agile. They are a lot more intelligent. They can abscond with the type of security system we have now than when they were only children,” Henry explained.

“We will increase the number of security personnel immediately. But while we do that the overall repurposing, redeveloping of our juvenile centre that is on its way,” the Minister told reporters.

At the same time, Henry explained that the BTC is not a maximum security facility or prison but a centre for wards primarily needing care and protection.

“We are looking at new legislation we’ll present to the attorney general, legislation to set up a juvenile centre as a statutory organisation instead of being part of government,” he stated.

Henry also disclosed plans to overhaul the programme for wards.

The government has approved using the decommissioned George Charles Secondary School as a new juvenile detention centre.

The Minister told Thursday’s news conference that the government had approved the consultancy for the architectural design.

In addition, he disclosed that a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) team was here to visit and consult regarding the proposed new juvenile centre.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. You do not see the need to panic REALLY!

    Now that’s an asinine statement to make after the murder of one of our elders by a ward who escaped/walk out of the same facility.

  2. You all politicians knows how to speak in a double sword manner but refuses to pay heed when workers at the BTC is asking for an inquest with regards to management. We cannot let you all get away with you all narrative. If one of these kids repeat similar crime like recently will you resign. Hello no you will find ways to twist so you all can continue to collect tax payers dollars. 44yrs of independence and it was bloody independence. Pjp and minister for security still sleeping.

  3. So many Homicides On the 22nd of February 2023 and no Crime Fighting Strategy to Curb on the Increase of Criminality in St.Lucia.I guess the Wards have been Escaping from the Facality for the past 40years and More .So there’s nothing in place

  4. Sir
    How could you in good conscience tell the citizens not to panic ????? – when an elder (aka senior citizen) in her own home minding her business was BRUTALLY murdered by one of the individuals who is housed/was housed by BTC. It was never reported that he had escaped perhaps no one even knew that he left the building. Are these folks there for rehabilitation or is this merely a baby sitting center?????? Are these kids assessed psychologically by experts in the field to determine their mental state and or capacity???
    Are there rehabilitative and/or treatment plans implement to these individuals.

    If it was reported on the news (with a mug shot) that he had escaped perhaps the senior would have secured her residence or perhaps a family member would have come over and may be – just may be she would have been alive today. Lord St. Lucia needs a 360 – some of the leaders are looking for photo ops while seriously “sleeping on their job” – stop looking to impress your constituents and instead make a real difference in your duty to serve. As for me, I am not impressed with any one of you. Action speaks much louder than words. Faith without works is dead – thus far I have not seen any meaningful works in St. Lucia.

    In the meantime you state – don’t panic – is your statement a joke?????. Honestly, you can not be serious.

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