Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has promised that his administration will continue implementing measures to ensure Saint Lucia’s stability and security.
“We will continue to implement the strategies that we have presented to uphold law and order and to legally eliminate threats to the stability and security of Saint Lucia’s peace-loving communities,” Pierre declared.
The promise came on Friday, one day after the government introduced the Suppression of Escalated Crime (Police Powers) Bill in the Lower House of Parliament, in response to a deadly gun violence spike in Vieux Fort.
The Bill aims to provide the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force with expanded powers to respond to areas where crime has escalated.
Pierre, responsible for National Security, said the legal measure establishes a framework to preserve public order, public safety, and economic stability in Saint Lucia.
He wrote on Facebook that it authorises the National Security Minister, on the advice of the Commissioner of Police, to designate an area affected by high crime rates as an escalated crime area.
The Bill received unanimous support from government legislators, went through the Committee stage with amendments and the lower house passed it.
Summary convictions for offences made under the Police Powers Bill attract fines not exceeding XCD 50, 000 or imprisonment terms not exceeding 15 years or both.
Convictions on indictment for offences under the Police Powers Act attract prison terms not exceeding 25 years.