Asserting that gun-related violence threatens the right to life, the most fundamental human right, opposition United Workers Paty (UWP) leader Allen Chastanet has asserted that easy access to guns is a main factor in the scourge.
Easy access to firearms, especially those that are illegal, is one of the main drivers of gun violence,” the former Prime Minister wrote on his official Facebook page.
“As a party, the UWP believes that the security of our citizens is the single most important responsibility of any Government,” Chastanet stated.
And he said Given the high levels of gun violence Saint Lucia has been experiencing, there are some initiatives the UWP believes would help reduce the scourge:
1) Improve the intelligence and detection capabilities of customs, the marine and immigration police in the detection and recovery of firearms at our ports of entry
2) Improve the search and seizure capabilities of law enforcement in the recovery of firearms, drugs and cash associated with criminality.
3) Ensure that criminals do not benefit from their crimes through robust asset recovery and proceeds of crime initiatives
4) Provide equipment for collection and storage of computerized fingerprints, ballistics capabilities and DNA testing
5) Install an additional 700 CCTV cameras islandwide covering at least 200 locations
6) Improve the work environment of the Police Force through the construction of a new Police Headquarters
7) Improve and strengthen the systems responsible for the investigation, prosecution and dispensation of criminal justice. Ensure that resources are adequately and properly deployed in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force
8)Introduce National database legislation: new laws allowing for a national fingerprint database, a firearms and ballistics database, and a DNA database for all convicted.
9) Pass the DNA Act: This legislation will allow for the Forensics Science Lab to conduct accredited DNA testing, not just for St Lucia, but for the wider Caribbean Region.
10)Plea Bargaining: Introduce Plea Bargain legislation which will allow for an agreement between the prosecution and a defendant.
11) Integrate the Police Crime Unit and the Forensics Science Lab
“Do you have any other recommendations to Stop the flow of illegal guns in our communities?” Chastanet concluded his post.