Business owners in Saint Lucia have been urged to invest in well-trained armed guards as one of several measures to protect themselves from armed robberies, several of which have occurred in Castries and other areas of the country in recent time.
“I believe that the business places, they should invest in an armed guard but the reason why some of them may not invest in an armed guard is because it’s more costly,” Acting Police Inspector, Shervon Matthieu, says.
He also suggested that a business owner may be the holder of a legal firearm.
Matthieu spoke Wednesday during an appearance on Newsmaker Live, aired by DBS Television.
And while on the issue of security guards, the Acting Inspector questioned the level of respect for them.
“I personally believe that sometimes the respect for security guards in Saint Lucia is lacking. I believe security guards should be treated as professionals because they provide a service to people, but at the same time I believe a lot of them should step up their game,” Matthieu observed.
He noted that at times security guards are on their mobile telephones, others have their backs to people and still others are distracted while sanitising customers who enter business places.
“You go into business places – you see security guards pushing trolleys, you see security guards packing baskets – this is not the job of a security guard, his job is to ensure that your business place remains secure,” Matthieu explained.
He also noted that security guards should be well trained.
In addition to encouraging investment in an armed guard, he encouraged business owners to install CCTV cameras, implement controlled entry to their business establishments and ensure that parking lots are properly illuminated especially in the evening when staff are leaving work.
Matthieu said employees should also be trained to be alert to suspicious individuals.
And he explained that there’s lots to be done to ensure the safety and security of staff and customers at a business place.
In terms of the police role, Matthieu spoke of the need for more foot and mobile patrols that would serve as a deterrent to crime.
But at the same time, he also said there’s need for heavier court penalties for robbery.
Matthieu said police do what they have to do, but when the matter gets to the court it is out of their hands.