Francis accused of politicising crime

Francis accused of politicising crime

The advocacy group, United and Strong Inc, has  accused National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis of politicising crime in Saint Lucia.

The accusation follows comments by Francis in response to a video in which three United Kingdom nationals express their concern about crime in Saint Lucia, the professionalism of the police and the justice system.

The video, which has been making the rounds on social media, featured Margaret Pratt, Anne Pearson and Georgina Mortimer in a round-table discussion.

Margaret Pratt’s husband, Roger Pratt, was murdered in an attack aboard their yacht in Vieux Fort in January, 2014, while Anne Pearson recounted details of her mother’s murder some 6 years ago and Georgina Mortimer reported that she was raped while on vacation in Saint Lucia in February last year.

In a statement to reporters Monday, National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis said the crimes happened under the previous administration.

He also detailed a number of initiatives by the current government to deal with crime, while declaring that the three women who were featured in the video have a constitutional right to make their concerns about the pace of justice in Saint Lucia known.

According to Francis, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been in constant contact with at least two of the complainants.

But United and Strong has expressed concern about his comments.

“United and Strong is saddened, disappointed even  in statements made by the Honourable Minister of National Security,  Hermangild Francis, in relation to comments coming from a UK national whose husband was murdered in 2014 and the rape of another woman in 2016,” United and Strong Communications Officer, Bennet Charles said.

“His comments sort of politicise the whole issue of crime in Saint Lucia,” Charles declared.

The United and Strong official asserted that the United Workers Party (UWP) government was elected on a platform of ensuring that crime would be reduced.

“We believe at United and Strong that this was one of the main reasons why the United Workers Party defeated the Saint Lucia Labour Party at the June 6 poll, 2016,” Charles stated.

He referred to the number of homicides that have so far been recorded in Saint Lucia and questioned whether the Saint Lucia Labour Party should be blamed or the United Workers Party for not keeping its promises.

Charles said United and Strong believes that there are flaws in the system, including the judicial system and the police.

He also spoke of the lack of resources which used to be obtained from foreign partners.

“But the fact that the minister has sort of trivialised the issue by saying that the crimes which these UK nationals were speaking about occurred under the last administration really and truly is a poor attempt at trying to soothe their concerns,” Charles declared.

“It highlights in our mind a presence of disrespect and an absence of empathy,” the United and Strong official said.

He said that United and Strong has also lost members of the LGBT community to crime under both administrations, but dares not blame any particular one of them.

“We have to look at the judicial system and look at how it needs to be enhanced so that justice prevails – to ensure that people have faith in the judicial system in this country, to ensure that people have faith in the police,” Charles observed.

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12 Comments

  1. Anon1
    September 5, 2017 at 8:31 am Reply

    We are the BIGGEST fools if we voted on the basis that the UWP will reduce crime.

    Crime has always been a political football by both or all political parties – fact.

    “…the crimes happened under the previous administration.” this statement is highly unprofessional of an MP. It demonstrates the continuing blame game of our politicians.

    Confirming that our politicians are out dated, dinosaurs in the political arena.

    Crime should always be dealt with on a unilateral basis meaning Gov, Opposition, Civil Service, general population.

    However we (some of us) can all see that our politicians are so small minded and petty that they can’t come together for the greater good of the people.

  2. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 9:06 am Reply

    Good point, as the security minister saying that the crime happened under the previous administration as if that it has nothing to do with you is horrible. What about the 30+ murders so far this year?

  3. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 9:06 am Reply

    I am disappointed by the response of United and Strong. An unfortunate reference
    by the minister but surely not intended for the way it is being interpreted. It is amazing how sometimes people can miss the forest from the trees. Why not look at the entire statement and take it into proper context instead of singling out one sentence and making a mountain out of a molehill of it. It is this sought of response which further divides our country thereby hindering progress. Why not look for the positive in things instead of always latching onto the negative. Let’s be honest with each other, crime is tied to politics. A government that cannot employ and feed its people or implement strategies to combat crime is responsible for that crime. We voted for them to manage the affairs of our country. Crime happens to be one such affair.

    1. Lady
      September 5, 2017 at 10:23 am Reply

      I couldn’t have said it any better

    2. Anon1
      September 5, 2017 at 10:52 am Reply

      Very fair point. A couple of points I’d like to add maybe our media outlets should publish the entire statement rather than a truncated version – just a thought.

      Its in our nature to always see the negative and pounce on it however some individuals see negatives reiterate and chastise them but also offer solutions to the problems.

      In the case of this current administration I struggle to see the positive policies they’ve implemented since taking office.

      In my humble opinion the negatives far out weigh any positives which as I type I still can’t quote one.

      Lets not forget the statement this current PM made whilst campaigning at the last General Elections.

      He said and I quote “they (KDA) can’t tackle and decrease crime but if you vote me in office we will CUT crime.”

      Very very strong comments it was like he had that ace card to cut crime if he was elected.

      However crime has actually increased. A word the current administration seem to love “projection”

      With the current figures I project the number of murders for 2017 (calendar year) will hit 46.5 murders might as well round up to 47.

      What’s the plan to tackle it!

      1. Anonymous
        September 5, 2017 at 11:26 am Reply

        “they (KDA) can’t tackle and decrease crime but if you vote me in office we (WILL) CUT crime.”
        I’ve learnt never to rely completely on campaign promises for that is exactly what they are PROMISES. A promise is not a fact or a guarantee of what will happen. It is an intention or an undertaking to do something or achieve a particular result. What makes a difference is the ability to fulfill that promise. One such example is the government of St Kitts and Nevis promised to make crime its main priority. Since then they’ve invested millions in training, equipment, staffing and have asked for the assistance of regional and international organisations to assist in that regard. Only last week it was reported that 180 CCTV cameras have been installed throughout St Kitts and Nevis and drones have been acquired to assist in the fight against crime. The results are already being felt.
        Truth be told I believe that every government or politician who promises to do something about crime actually want to do something. for me the important thing is that they actually do something. every government should be held accountable to the people and in turn the organisations and departments must be held accountable to the government. If our governments operate like the private sector much would be achieved. This would however guarantee their demise in office as very tough and unpopular decisions would have to be taken.

  4. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 10:06 am Reply

    Agreed! United and strong needs to go and pray

  5. Melody
    September 5, 2017 at 10:23 am Reply

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! UWP and Chastent in particular said he would stop crime because Kenny couldn’t do it….now crime is on the increase they want to change their tune! Yall are the ones who started with the politicization of crime in the first place. NOW FIX IT! Crooks

    1. mary
      September 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm Reply

      really really you expect a politician or political party to fix crime dream on

  6. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 11:29 am Reply

    Regardless of which government that’s in power crime will not stop. And tell me which st. Lucian doesn’t politicized crime. Read the comments on some of those articles. As for the judicial systems; it sucks.

  7. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 11:40 am Reply

    The boastful stopping prime minister who said on a platform, Kenny and the labour party could not stop crime but we will, he couldn’t make the country safe but I will. How many murders so far this year, as well as all the break ins and robberies. It starts at the top with u pm.so much corruption and scandal in your party.first of all pls do the right thing, elect a deputy speaker and get rid of ubaldus the minister who loves to jock, masturbate in office

  8. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm Reply

    New Testament Verse of the Day:

    In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!

    – Revelation 9: 6

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