Former National Security Minister, Doctor Keith Mondesir, asserting that when he was appointed there was a spike in violent crime similar to what is taking place in Saint Lucia currently, has asserted that the situation highlights a lack in ‘basic policing.
‘”When I say that I mean that policing is supposed to be community policing,” Mondesir told St Lucia Times.
The former minister spoke against the backdrop of the shooting death of two teenagers Saturday in the community of Desrameaux, Gros Islet.
He expressed the view that police officers are not walking in the communities.
“I think the policemen are not invading these ghettos where these crimes perpetuate and I think the visibility of policemen on the streets -they are not visible enough,” Mondesir, who served as National Security Minister between 2006 and 2007 observed.
“Policemen, in my opinion, should not be drivers driving up and down,” he told St Lucia Times.
The former minster expressed the view that in every community, people know who the wrongdoers are.
“In a small place like Saint Lucia, there is always somebody that knows who committed a crime. But if you are not in a community – if there is no community policing, you are not going to get that information,” Mondesir stated.
He said another factor relates to the reward given to people who provide information to the police.
“These people should be well treated,”Mondesir declared, adding that there should be linkages in every community with someone giving information to police officers.
He asserted that community policing is not being done properly.
As far as the former minister is concerned, with effective community policing in place, the police could be alerted to criminal activity even before they take place.
He recalled that when he was MP for Anse La Raye-Canaries, police officers were sitting in police stations in the community.
“I said ‘Nobody should be sitting here.'”
Mondesir said he advised the officers to go out into the community and speak with the people.
He also spoke of the need for police officers to earn the respect of the people they serve.
“Police officers have to carry themselves with respect.”
“With my technique, we brought down the crime rate in six months by 35 percent – it is on the record,” Mondesir stated, adding that community policing works.