The National Security Minister, Senator Hermangild Francis says St Lucia is facing an unprecedented crime wave.
Minister Francis was speaking Friday at a promotion ceremony for officers of the Royal St Lucia Police Force.
Francis told the newly promoted lawmen they must take their jobs seriously because the public wants the police to “take care of that crime situation.”
His statements come against the backdrop of mounting violent crime in St Lucia with approximately 29 homicides recorded on the island so far this year. The majority of the victims are men.
By comparison, St Lucia recorded 31 homicides for the whole of 2016.
“At this time in our history, we have seen an unprecedented crime wave hitting our country,” Francis said. “The public wants the police to take care of that crime situation. We know and I have defended the police force. And I have said that I know for a fact that you are doing your very best within the confines of what you have available to you,” he stated.
Francis said the police force has been neglected over the last few years and police stations are dilapidated with limited training opportunities for officers.
However, he reminded the officers that with their promotion comes increased responsibility therefore more is expected from them.
“Today is a day of celebration for those who are getting promoted so I don’t want to steal your thunder. I just want to tell you that enjoy your promotion for today but when you go back to work tomorrow you must recognize that you have to work extremely hard,” Francis added.