In the aftermath of an early Wednesday morning armed robbery at Twist bar in Grand Riviere, Gros Islet, a senior police officer has asserted that criminals here taking their game to a new level.
“Obviously the criminals have taken their game to a new level and it is up to law enforcement to up our game,” Assistant Police Commissioner, George Nicholas told St Lucia Times.
“We have to be more aggressive, we have to be more forceful when we respond to these kinds of criminal activities and this notion that the criminals want to take on the police – it’s taking it to another level so we have to step up our game,” Nicholas declared.
He disclosed that about 1.00 am there was a report that a cash register was stolen as well as a firearm from an off duty police officer.
According to information obtained by St Lucia Times, the officer was at the bar when the incident occurred.
It’s the second incident recently in which a law enforcement officer was relieved of a firearm during an armed robbery.
A Guardsman Employee was shot in the head last month and his weapon taken when gunmen attacked the Balata gas station.
The deceased was a Jamaican national, Paul Bruce.
On Saturday night, two masked gunmen attacked a shop at Mon Repos, Micoud, shooting the owner – Andrew Joseph in the lower abdomen.
Joseph died on Monday at St Jude Hospital.
ACP Nicholas does not believe that one criminal gang is responsible for the spate of armed robberies.
“From our experience it’s not not one gang operating because we have made some progress in some of these robberies and apprehended those persons we believe are involved – and then you hear of another robbery while those persons are in custody. So obviously there is more than one gang operating in different areas,” the senior police official told St Lucia Times.
“I want to assure members of the public that we are not going to rest until we can have a grip on this whole situation,” Nicholas said.
He noted that usually around the Christmas season there’s an upsurge in crime.
However Nicholas said from his experience the situation is really unprecedented this year.
“We are stepping up our game – we are increasing our presence as much as we can; but we are asking members of the public to assist us; work with us on this whole crime situation,” he told St Lucia Times.
He observed that criminals have shown on numerous occasions that they will not hesitate to use firearms when they have to and the police have to be two steps ahead of them.
“We should not hesitate to use ours when we respond to those types of criminal activities and if it’s a case where the criminals want to take on the police, they have something else coming for them. We will not hesitate or spare any effort in responding appropriately to safeguard ourselves and members of the public,” Nicholas declared.