The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Equity, Donovan Williams, has responded to suggestions that poverty and unemployment contribute to crime by asserting that he does not think that excuses should be found for unacceptable behaviour.
“We just have to say that they are unacceptable,” Williams told reporters Tuesday.
He spoke in the aftermath of Friday’s armed robbery of the Manager of the Dominica Under 16 National Netball team as she left the KFC outlet in Castries with some members of the Dominica contingent.
Donovan however explained that part of his ministry’s mandate is to productively engage citizens, especially young people.
“Through our portfolio I think we have a lot of opportunities to do that,” he said, adding that hopefully with the new fiscal year coming on stream, there will be a greater level of productive engagement in a number of different areas.
Williams mentioned sports and the creative arts as areas in which young people can be mobilised.
But he asserted that ultimately the issue of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not has to be inculcated in Saint Lucians.
“It really does require each of us as individuals – we all have a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong and we should never use unemployment, poverty, those ills as excuses for those behaviours becoming acceptable – it just is not and all of us must ensure that we make that statement loud and clear,” the P.S stated.
Williams told reporters that one incident is one too many.
“Word gets around,” he observed.
He expressed the view that Saint Lucia must be in a position to deal with crime as it happens and present a face that represents this country.
“This is not the norm of what we want Saint Lucia to be. Saint Lucia is by and large, a peaceful place. Our citizenry are by and large, law abiding people and it is a minority that is giving us this name. We have to stamp it out. We have to be the louder voice in all of what is happening,” Williams said.