Choiseul-Saltibus MP Bradley Felix has asserted that a national conversation and strategy on crime have become crucial to solving what he described as “this chronic social ill” while lamenting the absence of a comprehensive government anti-crime initiative.
Declaring that he was not there to politicise crime, the former Commerce Minister stressed the need for leadership at every level.
But he explained that the political leaders must take the lead and chart the strategic path forward by creating the enabling environment.
However, Felix said he was disappointed that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government has failed to articulate a comprehensive crime plan after nine months in office.
“Passing the buck is not good enough,” the former Minister told a Thursday news conference of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP).
“Yes, the police can do more, but the government must lead,” he stated.
Felix recalled that on assuming office after the July 26, 2021, general elections, the Philip J. Pierre administration’s “first course of action” was expunging records.
The SLP had announced that it would delete the records of all persons arrested, charged, and convicted of COVID-19 protocol breaches.
“They sent the wrong signal to our community and gave the impression that the society was on its way to becoming a lawless state, one void of respect for law and order. In the view of the public, the government expunging the records of its friends,” Felix declared.
He however made it clear that he is all for expunging the record of petty crimes.
But Felix said it must be part of a broader, holistic plan that does not give the impression that laws can be broken.
“For us to successfully deal with crime, urgent economic interventions must be made in impoverished inner City and rural communities where many young men feel left behind by the advancement of others,” the MP noted.
He explained that the absence of such initiatives will continue to give relevance to gangs, drug trafficking and other means of survival.
Felix therefore urged the government to implement certain measures.
They included providing support to complement the fiscal incentives of the former UWP administration, legislation that would discourage people from committing crime and more anger management education.