Speak Out Saint Lucia (S.O.S), has taken National Security Minister, Victor La Corbiniere, to task, asserting that he is ineffective and inspires zero confidence.
The organization was formed recently to advocate against rape, incest and child molestation.
S.O.S Communications Director, Norbert Williams, has said that at the time of the formation of the group, a crisis situation existed and continues to exist with regard to rape, child molestation and incest.
“Taking on these issues which have affected Saint Lucia for decades, it was decided to report on our progress after 100 days, however because of the continuing alarming trends we have found it critical to make a pointed and deliberate statement,” Williams asserted.
He noted that since March 9th a number of rather disturbing crimes have occurred.
According to the S.O.S official, these have created a sense of hopelessness and desperation in Saint Lucia.
Williams said the onslaught of criminal activity seems to continue regardless of reassurances by the authorities, particularly the Minister of National Security – Victor La Corbiniere.
He asserted that La Corbiniere has single-handedly invoked the ire and condemnation of the public for his insensitive and mostly irrelevant statements regarding the sex-related crimes.
“He has lost the public trust, and failed to reassure the public that anticrime measures taken under his leadership have any hope of succeeding,” Williams declared.
He recalled that last week, when asked about the reported rapes at the Derek Walcott Square in Castries, the Minister’s s statements can be considered as nothing less than insensitive, dismissive, and callous.
“He very quickly switched the conversation by stating that we could not have had a successful Jazz festival had there not been an inordinate amount of resources put in by the police and other agencies,” Williams disclosed.
“What we ask then, is where are these inordinate resources when we don’t have Jazz? Is the safety of Saint Lucians not of paramount importance the other 355 days of the year?”
Recounting that La Corbiniere had also spoken of the need to be proactive, Williams asked where were the CCTV cameras, necessary night time lighting to deter criminals in the city, manpower and equipment and the forensic laboratory.
He observed that with a constrained police force, Saint Lucia must maximize whatever resources it has to minimize expense to the public purse.
“This again begs the question of the opening of our forensics laboratory. The failure to have this multimillion dollar facility operational continues to cost Saint Lucia significant amounts of money, and is part of the larger problem of our clogged judicial system. We still have no fixed date for its reopening despite many assurances of it being “soon.” “
He revealed that to send evidence samples for testing overseas incurs serious time delays on a system that is already bursting at the seams.
The S.O.S Communications Director said that of even more concern, and highlighted by many local and international agencies, is the staggering prison remand population.
He noted that to date there are approximately 350 prisoners on remand and 250 sentenced inmates.