Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has promised that criminal activity in the capital will come to an end.
“Over the past few years we have seen the blatant disregard for human life and property. The City of Castries has become a hub for criminal elements and activity. And this will be put to a halt,” Francis said.
He made the comments while addressing the opening ceremony of the Festival of Lights.
The Mayor told his audience that one of the corrective measures to be taken is to introduce 18 individuals as part of the City Police Unit to join with 12 seasoned constabulary officers employed within the Mayor’s office.
He explained that those persons will be deployed in the coming days and will be trained by the training academy of the police service.
“It is my hope that in the coming months we increase the City Police Unit to 50, so that law and order can be restored in the city,” Francis stated.
He declared that the City Police Unit working in partnership with the Royal St. Lucia Police Force will bring back law and order in the City of Castries.
The Mayor also recognized the urgent need to beautify Castries.
“We will see that taking place in collaboration with my Government as the development of Castries is critical to the country’s economic survival,” he noted.
Francis observed that the Festival of Lights is about solemnly looking within to discover, accept and reflect the divine light and then sharing that light with others.
He said even as persons clean and decorate their physical surroundings during this time, they must ensure that people’s souls are pure and their hearts are filled with compassion and love, being strong and resilient in body and mind.
He said many would sometimes say that St. Lucia and the world by extension are plagued by grave darkness, a darkness is taking many forms.
The Mayor made reference to the darkness of terrorism, disease, physical and sexual abuse, injustice, inequality, poverty and hunger, natural disasters and the negative effects of climate change.
However he observed that in actuality, that darkness cannot exist where there is light.
“Indeed, if in every facet of life we can be the source of light and joy for others; if we can put country before self; if we can reject violence, intolerance and intimidation, then the darkness we all fear will cease to exist.”
He called on each person and spiritual organization and community group represented at the ceremony to erase the darkness threatening to destroy this country.
The Mayor asserted that the focus should not merely be on the material but on the spiritual – the attainment of abundant joy and infinite peace.
He called on citizens to answer that higher call of selfless service to community and nation and to ensure continued peace and harmony in the country.
“Commit your time, talents and resources to assist in the development of our country, as a whole community united in love,” Francis urged.