Stronger security needed at health facilities -Minister

Strengthened security is needed at hospitals and health facilities in Saint Lucia, National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis has asserted.

Francis spoke against the backdrop of a resurgence of gun violence.

The resurgence has raised fears that criminals might seek access to health care facilities to attack persons whom they may have shot and wounded.

A man and a woman were wounded on Friday night on Chaussee Road when a lone gunman opened fire.

Both were hospitalized.

Reports indicate that the man was the target of the shooting, while the woman was hit by stray bullets.

The National Security Minister disclosed that he had visited the hospital on the weekend.

“One of the guards did approach me to indicate that there were some concerns,” Francis said.

He said he would speak to the Minister of Health and thereafter measures will be put in place.

Francis is a former Deputy Commissioner of Police.

He said of the recent incidents of gun violence:

“I think these things will happen as long as you have gangs around.”

He spoke of plans to strengthen the anti-gang legislation, so that the issue can be dealt with more forcefully.

Francis observed that there is anti-gang legislation, but felt it does not have the required “teeth.”

“We are going to look at it again and try and strengthen it,” the minister said.