National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has told reporters here that the people suspected of involvement in the recent shootings and killings in Saint Lucia are repeat offenders.
The minister said they are persons who have previously been arrested for firearm offences, bailed or convicted and are back on the streets doing the very same thing.
“I am happy that I see the police are now stepping up their game – and use the law; the law is correct,” the former police officer asserted.
He explained that if persons do not want to understand that it is illegal to carry an unlicensed firearm, police officers must enforce the law.
Francis stated that 2018 is ending in a manner that he is not ‘too pleased’ with, especially in terms of the crime situation.
But he commended the opposition for not making any negative comments about the escalation in crime.
“That augurs well for our country,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner said Thursday morning.
“But the other stakeholders like the Chamber of Commerce who have made comments, the clergy, people with clubs and these sort of things, the judiciary – everybody must play their part,” the minister explained.
“So when you arrest a young man with a firearm and tomorrow he is back on the streets – and if you look, they are repeat offenders, repeat offenders, repeat offenders,” Francis lamented.
He noted that people declare that there is no work and a lack of housing.
While asserting that such factors make a contribution to crime, Francis observed that there are people who have made up their minds that they want to live a life of crime.
“No matter how much work you give them, no matter what you do, this is how they are going to live their lives,” he told reporters.