Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has spoken of the need to speed up convictions for crime, declaring that the justice system and the rule of law are “absolutely critical”.
He said the priority of his government is to speed up the process of convictions for crime.
“I think too many people can commit crimes in Saint Lucia without the fear that anything is going to happen to them,” the Prime Minister said Tuesday.
Chastanet told reporters that sometimes he is not sure that people appreciate what his administration inherited.
“When I talked about the fact that none of the Coast Guard boats were working -none. The radar systems were not working; the court houses are a mess,” he said.
“I am asking you all now to go to the court houses yourselves and see the conditions – speak to the judges. The judges don’t even have chambers. This is what is going on in Saint Lucia – these are the priorities and these impact people’s daily lives,” Chastanet declared.
He said there were people whose loved ones have been arrested but are on remand and have not been charged.
The PM explained that there are individuals whose lives have been affected by crime but do not have the satisfaction of a court hearing.
He disclosed that getting a new court house, trained staff and the forensic laboratory certified are critical.
Chastanet said it was not just a matter of getting the necessary work done but doing it in a cost effective way.
“We still have the country to be able run and a lot of critical resources are going into the judicial system,” he stated.
Chastanet, who met with European Union (EU) Ambassadors, warned Saint Lucians that they cannot continue to depend on the level of support that this country has received from the Europeans.
“They have problems of their own,” he observed.