Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte has told reporters that Saint Lucia’s protective services suffered neglect over the past five years.
She made the remarks while acknowledging Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) staff concerns over work conditions.
“It’s not only Bordelais,” the Minister stated.
“When I look what’s happening in the protective services, a lot of them are unhappy because generally, from all indications, these institutions were virtually neglected during the last five years,” Albert-Poyotte asserted.
And she told reporters that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration, which came into office after the July 26, 2021, general elections, was seeking to address the neglect.
In this regard, the Babonneau MP recalled that the protective services had a zero budget allocation for training, an issue which she said the SLP administration is already addressing.
“You know the police didn’t have transport,” she observed, adding that the government had provided the Royal Saint Lucia Police Forcer (RSLPF) with vehicles.
In addition, Albert-Poyotte explained that the government was getting ready to construct the police divisional headquarters at Gros Islet and repair the abandoned building in Vieux Fort.
She also noted that 30 SSU officers recently received training and the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) recruited 49 officers.
Declaring that the protective services have to keep the country safe, the Minister explained that it was not a matter of merely addressing the needs of the BCF, but the SLFS, the police, and Border Control.
And Albert-Poyotte told reporters that the government was seeking to address those needs despite the current challenging economic climate.
The Minister explained that she had discussions with the hierarchy of the protective services, who are clear regarding the government’s direction and the provision of resources to address their concerns.
Headline photo: Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte (Stock image)