The United Workers Party (UWP) is deeply concerned following Prime Minister Philip J Pierre’s recent acknowledgment that he is clueless about solutions to the alarming crime rate in Saint Lucia.
The Opposition underscores its commitment to the safety and well-being of all Saint Lucians and resubmits its recommendations to effectively combat the escalating crime situation on the island.
In a letter dated December 8th, 2022, Leader of the Opposition Hon. Allen Chastanet and the UWP presented a series of recommendations to Prime Minister Pierre aimed at addressing the unprecedented surge in crime.
Regrettably, these well-intentioned suggestions were met with dismissal by the Prime Minister and since that time, over 60 more Saint Lucians have fallen victim to violent crime, underscoring the imperative for immediate and decisive action.
During a recent Press Conference convened to address the escalating crime rates, Prime Minister Pierre, who also holds the position of National Security Minister, openly admitted his uncertainty in devising strategies to curtail the high murder rate.
This admission has only amplified concerns among citizens regarding the government’s ability to safeguard the nation and uphold law and order.
In light of these developments, the UWP reiterates its commitment to fostering a secure future for all Saint Lucians, regardless of Party affiliations.
The Opposition is unwavering in its belief that the issue of crime transcends political boundaries and requires a collaborative and unified approach.
In this spirit, the UWP resubmits its recommendations, underscoring the importance of working collectively to tackle crime, particularly violent crime, with precision and efficiency.
The recommendations presented by the UWP include:
- Establishment of a Crime Command Centre: Modeled after the successful Covid Command Center, this entity would offer policy guidance, strategic expertise, and advisories on crime-fighting initiatives. It will include experts from government security agencies, private sector security, and relevant Ministries.
- Strengthening Personnel and Resources: Proper staffing and resources will be allocated to the Crime Command Centre to ensure its efficient operation.
- Border Control Enhancement: Expedite the administration of the Border Control Programme to enhance national security and prevent illegal entry.
- Introduction of the Crime Management Advisory Committee equivalent to NEMAC: Similar to the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC), this entity will be responsible for handling crime-related matters.
- Ensuring Integrity within Law Enforcement: Mandatory polygraph tests for Customs and Police officers to ensure transparency and trust.
- Enhancing Maritime Security: Mandatory vessel monitoring systems for sea vessels registered in Saint Lucia to strengthen maritime security.
- Expediting Technological Implementation: Accelerating the Key Locations Entry Database (KLED) and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) installation to improve surveillance capabilities.
- Incentivising Information Sharing: Introduce a rewards programme for providing information on illegal weapons.
- Addressing Legal Backlog: Implementation of a project to expedite court backlog resolution and bench trials.
The UWP recognizes that credible leadership is essential in this endeavor.
The Party stresses the importance of addressing contributors to crime identified by the IMPACS report and by responsible parties.
The UWP is open to further discussions with the government, affirming its commitment to a safer Saint Lucia.
By embracing a unified approach, our nation can collectively address the grave challenge posed by escalating crime.
SOURCE: United Workers Party