Former National Security Minister Hermangild Francis has suggested round-the-clock police patrols and drones to combat a wave of gun violence in Vieux Fort.
Noting a recent police operation in the community, Francis said such initiatives must be sustained.
He spoke Wednesday night during the DBS Television programme ‘Newsmaker Live‘, amid several fatal shootings in the Southern town and this week’s indiscriminate gunfire, blamed on rival gangs.
No one sustained injuries in the latest incident, but stray bullets damaged private property.
While rejecting the imposition of a state of emergency in Vieux Fort, Hermangild Francis said he would instead beef up the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
“Make sure police officers are patrolling 24/7. You look for drones- get the drones up in the air and the drones will identify where the shootings are coming from and your police officers move in very quickly,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner expressed.
“And if they have to use deadly force, use it,” Francis asserted.
He also advocated the use of the K-9 unit.
In the long-term, the former Minister noted the need to examine the education system, provide training and job opportunities for young men, and look at housing in Vieux Fort.
“Anywhere you see depressed housing, you call it the ghettoes – the people don’t like it but it’s a fact, as long as the housing is depressed, you will find crime,” he declared.
Headline photo: Police on patrol (Stock image)