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‘Ras Ipa’ Condemns Vigilante Justice


The President of the Saint Lucia Craft and Dry Goods Vendors Association, Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac, has strongly denounced the recent incident in Castries, where a man brazenly snatched a cruise ship visitor’s chain.

Isaac also condemned the reported vigilante justice that followed as at least one member of the public in a social media video struck the suspect as police arrested him.

Other in the crowd that gathered urged the officers to break the suspect’s arm.

Recognising the pressing need, ‘Ras Ipa’ underscored the importance of a more robust police presence in the City, a crucial step to deter crimes against both locals and visitors.

He noted that some areas of Castries were known crime hotspots.

Regarding visitors, Isaac warned that they would talk about their bad experiences once they become crime victims.

“This is not good for us,” he told St. Lucia Times.

In addition, the Vendors Association President declared it was unacceptable for members of the public to engage in vigilante justice.

“We cannot allow vigilante justice,” Isaac told St. Lucia Times.

He noted that Saint Lucia was already grappling with a sharp homicide spike.

The Vendors Association President said the worrying spike resulted from people resorting to their brand of justice.

He asserted that if people act unlawfully, the police should arrest and charge the perpetrators.

In addition, Isaac questioned the length of time the police took to subdue the suspected chain snatcher, wondering how well-trained the cops were.

“It took so long for two or three officers to subdue one little person,” he observed.


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  1. The Castries City Uniform Perrsonnel who are Responsible for that Mess not Police Officers from the Rslpf.These Shitty police officers Getting involved in their mess and the News Media Targetting the Rslpf.Targrt the One in charge of these persons

  2. Ras Ipa needs to understand the roots of vigilantism. What causes members of the public to administer their perception of justice. Vigilantes have a strong need for order and are likely to act in its absence. Frustration with existing security conditions will also cause vigilantes to act. Last week’s action by the crowd should not be taken in isolation. This should be an opportunity to examine the local conditions. Does the public view the island as a safe place? Does the public feel that headway is being made in combatting crime? We know the answers.

    Vigilantism is also part of the St. Lucian experience. It’s is in the DNA. In small countryside communities where police are difficult to find; or wouldn’t go, local justice have always prevailed. Community rules are fortified at those events. No one is killed and subliminal messages are delivered.

    At about 5 years old, I witnessed vigilantism but I was too young to process it. A thief had broken into a kitchen at about 5:00am and was caught. The din awoke me and I went to the window to peep. Two men from the immediate area, whipped out their belts while the crook was held by three others. They promptly gave the crook a Creole lesson in Law and Ethics. They afterwards handed him to the police whom someone had summoned. Gros Islet has a strong tradition of vigilantism which they hold in very, very high honor.

  3. Well said Poule Foo. This place is dysfunctional at every level and there is no respect for law and order. Witnessed an example of everything wrong in this country a few days ago in the CPJ Parking lot. Parking lot pretty empty but this customer came in and parked his vehicle taking up 2 parking spots. The security guard seated by Excellent stores chatting with his buddy saw that. As the perp was walking to toward the supermarket the guard pointed out to him he was taking up 2 spots. The man (white collar) told the security guard: “And so” and proceeded to do his business. The security guard said nothing further and couldn’t be bothered to get off his chair and continued his chat.

    This perfectly illustrates this country. Nobody cares for law and order. And those responsible for enforcing law and order don’t want to get off their behinds to stop the offenders.

  4. We are in trouble and it’s no joke. The situation is too far out of hand, with no end in sight. We have lost the family and community spirit we had, which provided security and support, back in the day when most of us were struggling to make ends meet. In those days we lived happily with the meager means we had. Today, the dollar rules, yet we have not seen any kind of economic gain by the masses except for those who have political connections. That connection which guarantees prosperity, is evident particularly in political campaigns. We all understand that times don’t remain the same. Today, we have a lot more to cater for, example, internet connections, cell phones, TV, , propane gas, indoor toilets and baths, secondary school education and a lot more. All these needed additions cost a bunch, yet we remain unemployed or underpaid. People are generally unhappy because they are underachieving . Most are hungry and angry. Some of those who refuse to live within their means resort to illegal means to stay alive . In reality some of those means are insufficient, even for just the basics. Those who are privileged to be employed today particularly in the public sector, are it just for the money and nothing else, Out there, if you try a thing that works, before too long everyone else is trying the very same thing which puts you out of business. Everyone is looking for something and will steal, cheat or lie to achieve it. It’s just a jungle out there and one must be careful how one maneuvers in it. If everyone is on the same game, how do you expect a change of play ?

  5. It’s true people will turn to vigilantism when those legally responsible are ill-trained, don’t care and do nothing, and/or are corrupt – all of which apply in St Lucia. The alternative however can become a slippery slope; Haiti anyone? We need true leaders who are there to serve the people and not themselves, enforcement of ethics in our Public Servants and disciplinary action when standards are not upheld. Staff not performing their duties as PUBLIC SERVANTS is not uncommon in my experience, but rarely is anything done about it. They spend their working lives doing not very much and retire quite comfortably to the detriment of our country. I really don’t know how we effect this change of mentality on standards and ethics, but until we have decent people as our elected leaders, we are heading into dire straits…

  6. I’m happy to hear the comments you have all made and it goes to show how much you guys love a feel very passionate about This. beautiful island St Lucia.
    I Hope there are more people out there who will be have their say and try to get us on the right path before it’s gets really out out control. Bon!


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