The President of the National Principals Association (NPA), Valerie St. Helene-Henry, has called out Saint Lucia police over their follow-up after receiving reports of school burglaries.
The NPA President spoke after a burglar entered Castries Comprehensive Secondary School (CCSS) offices and made off with several items.
CCTV cameras recorded the illegal entry.
Valerie St. Helene-Henry noted that the CCSS break-in was the latest in a spate of such incidents at the institution, which staff find frustrating.
“It affects their morale,” the NPA President told St. Lucia Times.
And she disclosed that based on what she learned, there is no police follow-up despite providing CCTV footage and identifying suspects.
St. Helene-Henry recalled an incident at her Ave Maria Primary School earlier this year when a man entered the institution and took a teacher’s laptop computer.
She told St. Lucia Times that CCTV footage clearly showed that it was an individual well-known in his neighbourhood as a thief.
The NPA President said the police received all that information, but there was no follow-up.
“Up until today, the police never came back to the school or to the teacher to give any information whatsoever. It was just left hanging,” she lamented.
St. Helene-Henry disclosed that other schools had the same experience, including Ciceron and Sir Ira Simmons Secondary Schools.
She asserted that based on recent break-ins, the thieves seem to know their way around the schools they target.
The NPA President said she knew the Ministry of Education was trying to improve school security, but officials explained that it would require lots of resources.
As a result, St. Helene-Henry said the Ministry would have to prioritise where to direct the resources and at least start with very vulnerable schools.
“We also have to look at the type of watchmen we have. Some of them are not even present when an incident takes place,” the NPA President stated.