Francis: Money constraints affecting crime fighting

Francis: Money constraints affecting crime fighting

Financial constraints are hampering the government’s ability to address issues of crime and justice in Saint Lucia, Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security, Hermangild Francis, has told members of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

“I wanted to be in a position to give you great news on what we intend to do to enhance security and the rule of law, but the reality is such that our fiscal situation  does not allow us to do some of the things that we needed to do in this fiscal space,” Francis said.

However the former Deputy Police Commissioner said that his ministry cannot lie down and play dead.

He vowed that the ministry will fight as hard as possible to do the things which are expected to enhance security and justice in Saint Lucia.

According to Francis, the years 2011 to 2012 were significant years in the history of this country.

“It changed the landscape when it came to police procedures and tactics in combatting crime and criminal activity,” the minister said.

He observed that a programme that was welcomed by citizens quickly changed into condemnation of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), with morale in the force plummeting to unprecedented levels.

It as a clear reference to the anti-crime initiative dubbed  Operation Restore Confidence, during which a number of persons were shot dead by the police, prompting an investigation and the compilation of a document widely referred to as the IMPACS report as well as a backlash from the United States in the face of allegations of extra-judicial killings by local law enforcers.

“The Americans imposed Leahy law on Saint Lucia,” Francis recalled, adding that the move effectively deprived members of the RSLPF from receiving training and equipment.

He explained that the Marine Unit, which had always been fully equipped by the Americans, was the hardest hit.

Francis, who is currently the Chairman of the Regional Security System (RSS), said he has spoken to the director of the organization to devise ways and means to have Saint Lucian police officers trained, even though they are still not allowed to take part in training sponsored by the United States.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    April 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm Reply

    Its amazing how as Minister for Legal Affairs he won’t give any update on where things are at regarding the ORC investigation. But what do you expect when his party’s Government caused it in the first place. SMH. These guys will never own up for their actions and wrongdoing.

  2. Calvin
    April 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm Reply

    Alas, the excuses and managing of expectations have started as to why there will likely be no notable dent made by the government towards improvement of the level of safety and security.

    “…our fiscal situation does not allow us to do some of the things that we needed to do in this fiscal space.”

    With all due respect, you have accepted the position as a Minister of the Crown.

    Plainly stated, when someone accepts a position as a Minister, they have implicitly said that they are prepared to swim with the big fish. And, lamentably, in this case, someone seems unwilling to put on their big-boy pants and sail out into the deep water to do it.

    Perhaps that is what we should have come to expect.

    It is recognized that all governments have a particular envelope within which they need to manage within. Managing within this envelope necessitates that national priorities be established by the PM and Ministers. Based on that, funds within the envelope are, through sometimes tough discussions and unpopular decisions reallocated between program areas so as to best address the list of priorities. Some programs are funded more, some programs are de-funded.

    With budgetary allocations comes a plan – what will be done, what are the desrired results or outcomes, and how will those results be measured (business planning 101). Should there be fiscal constraints, then the Ministry should make publicly available to citizens, the voters they report to, the plan for what they will actually be doing — how will taxpayer monies be spent, and for what. That is fundamental transparency, and we as the ones funding it are entitled to it, should it exist.

    In this particular case, the Minister’s statement, unless he is speaking without the PM’s concurrence, would seem to send a message that the crime and justice portfolio is not a national priority. If so, where is it on the list of Government priorities?

    We are fortunate to live in a great democracy and have the chance to contact our elected office to make our views known to them.
    Questions and comments can be made to the Ministry as follows:
    Tel: (758) 468-3600
    E-mail: [email protected]

    God Bless.

  3. Anonymous
    April 12, 2017 at 8:55 pm Reply

    There is no money for crime fighting but there is money for a dolphin park.

    1. Calvin
      April 12, 2017 at 9:51 pm Reply

      Perhaps it’s been decided that dolphins are easier than criminals to capture, put up less resistance, cost less to house and feed, and, until tourists are willing to pay entry to watch prisoners at Bordeleau the dolphin park is more profitable.

    2. Anonymous
      April 13, 2017 at 4:21 am Reply

      That’s a stupid statement. One is an investment from a foreign entity, the other is our own money. Please return to the genetic puddle from which you formed

      1. 12 tribes
        April 13, 2017 at 9:04 am Reply

        The distinction you made is corect. Are you aware that our money is being used to develop an investors dream (in the south) while we have NO shares in said investment. Hmmm.

        1. Calvin
          April 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm Reply

          You’re funny.

          I guess that that economic spin-off benefits and revenues to the Treasury from the development mean nothing to you.

          Further, it is not government’s role to give free shares to St. Lucians. It is up to each and everyone of us to work to achieve having funds to invest, and then having the freedom to invest them where we want, be it in SLU or elsewhere.

          The sooner you acknowledge reality and adapt, the better the economic outlook of both you and your future generations of family will be.

  4. Francis: Money constraints affecting crime fighting – Caribbean Edition
    April 12, 2017 at 11:52 pm Reply

    […] St. Lucia Times | Francis: Money constraints affecting crime fighting Financial constraints are hampering the government’s ability to address issues of crime and […]

  5. Anonymous
    April 13, 2017 at 12:05 am Reply

    What the SSU that guarding the chin investment who’s paying them?????.

  6. Fair Play
    April 13, 2017 at 1:35 am Reply

    The million dollars spent on the St. judes audit to tell us what we all new that there was wastage, bobol and the hospital will still have to be built, that money could have helped your security problems. Now not one person will be held accountable for the St. judes fiasco. That report dead in the AG’s office. Bluff and politricking.

    Sir John would never have subscribed to that nonsense.

  7. Anonymous
    April 13, 2017 at 9:41 am Reply

    In opposition, you guys seems to have all the answers for the crime situation. Now when in charge things have gotten worse (20 murders less than 4 months). This just shows crime shouldn’t be politicized.

  8. bambi
    April 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm Reply

    Now you are facing the realities .It was a different tune out of office. The 100 days come and go nada happened.

  9. KD
    April 16, 2017 at 6:53 pm Reply

    A good conversation used wholeheartedly for partisanship..Wow! These replies are no joke! Was the message in the article positive from Francis’ perspective?

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