Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has declared that Saint Lucia cannot allow a few criminals to create chaos in the country.
Pierre spoke to reporters while defending measures to expand police powers under the Suppression of Escalated Crime (Police Powers) legislation.
He asserted that he had no apologies for his strong stand against criminals.
This week, Pierre, also National Security Minister, announced that he had signed an instrument to designate Vieux Fort South, which recently experienced a deadly gun violence spike, an escalated crime zone until May 16.
“I said before that there would be some inconvenience. We have to make a choice,” the Castries East MP told reporters.
And he indicated that the choice was between suffering inconveniences for a few days or allowing criminals to wreak havoc.
Responding to civil rights concerns regarding expanded police powers, Pierre told reporters that the police were aware that they have to uphold human rights.
“We are all for the human rights of people. The police have been told we have to observe the human rights of individuals,” the Prime Minister stated.
“We cannot allow criminals – we cannot allow two or three or four or five or ten people to create economic instability in the country, social deprivation and put the country in chaos. We cannot allow it and I will not allow it,” Pierre declared.
“There’s got to be some inconvenience. I apologise, but I make no apologies for taking a strong stand against criminals. No apologies,” he told reporters.