Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has declared that the violence epidemic in Saint Lucia is unacceptable, noting that nine young people met untimely deaths over the past two weekends due to gun crime.
“This epidemic of violence is unacceptable and demands our urgent attention and collective action,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader wrote on Facebook.
He acknowledged the profound grief and pain experienced by the families and loved ones of the victims.
And the former Prime Minister noted that the alarming rise in violent crime, particularly gun violence, clearly indicates that society is facing a grave challenge.
“We cannot afford to be complacent or turn a blind eye to the suffering and loss that are unfolding within our communities. It is our duty, as responsible citizens, to stand united against this menace and demand effective solutions from those entrusted with the task of ensuring our safety and security,” Chastanet asserted.
He spoke of the need to provide law enforcement with the necessary tools and prioritise comprehensive government strategies to address the root cause of violence.
“We must invest in our communities, providing alternative pathways and positive role models for our young people, steering them away from the temptations of crime and violence,” the opposition leader stated.
In addition, he urged the government to take immediate and decisive action to address the crisis.
“We demand a comprehensive plan that includes effective policing, intelligence-driven operations, and community engagement. It is essential that our justice system operates efficiently, ensuring swift and fair trials for perpetrators, and providing the necessary support for victims and their families,” Chastanet said.
He also called on Saint Lucians to unite, irrespective of political affiliation, to confront the grave issue of crime threatening society’s fabric.
“We owe it to our youth, their families, and the future generations to build a Saint Lucia where they can grow, thrive, and fulfill their potential without the fear of violence,” the former Prime Minister observed.