Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has urged young people to avoid criminal gangs and not allow anyone to influence them to commit crime.
Pierre, responsible for National Security, said Thursday night that young people should not believe they must belong to a gang to survive.
He spoke at a Castries Market steps political rally of the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
“The gang leaders living big and large. All over the world gang leaders live big and large. You never see any gang leader child involved in any gang,” the Castries East MP declared.
“They send their children to the best schools. They send their children abroad. But they leave you – you the young people, tell you ‘Be in a gang and do this and do that’,” Pierre stated.
He appealed to young people to refrain from listening.
“We are working with you. We are creating opportunities for you. Do not let anybody use you for their own selfish motives,” the Prime Minister said.
“Do not break the law. Do not allow selfish people to make you break the law,” Pierre warned.
He noted that his administration had worked hard as a team to deal with a spike in deadly gun violence.
And Pierre disclosed that the approach would not only involve the police and the Regional Security System officers whom he invited to assist in the anti-crime battle.
But he explained that his administration was working with civil society and all men and women of goodwill in addressing the problem.
Pierre thanked his colleague Prime Ministers in the region for allowing their officers to come to Saint Lucia to help fight crime.
However, he called out detractors.
“They try to take us on crime. Anytime there is an unfortunate crime, they laugh. They are happy. Like they get up in the morning and they pray, they say, ‘Bon Dieu, let them have some more crime so labour can pay’. That’s not happening.” Pierre told party supporters.
“We had a crime problem. We had an issue with murders, but we did not hide. We, as a government, we faced it man to man. We confronted it, my brothers and sisters and we looked for help from overseas. But while we looked for help from overseas, we were like men and women. We didn’t run. We didn’t run away – run away and go and call our father. We stayed, and we worked hard,” the Prime Minister declared.