An anti-crime network established last year between Saint Lucia and Martinique hopes to reduce cross-border crime significantly.
Officials disclosed that the value of the cooperation was evident recently as Martinique law enforcement held four Saint Lucians for the armed robbery of a jewellery store.
A source familiar with the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, told St Lucia Times that the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) was able to share information with Martinique concerning the individuals in custody for the robbery.
“We are networking together and sharing information in the hope of solving crime on both sides whether in Saint Lucia or Martinique,” Police Commissioner Milton Desir told reporters last week.
He stated that the networking was continuous.
Desir spoke after a tactical training intervention techniques course at the RSLPF Academy.
Sixteen experienced RSLPF officers benefitted from the training conducted by three special instructors from the French overseas territories and organised by the anti-drug enforcement unit, OFAST.
The Charge d’ Affaires of the French Embassy in Saint Lucia, Marc Mertillo, said there would be other training courses in the coming months.
French law enforcement officials, including the head of the anti-drug enforcement unit in the French West Indies, were also present.
Law enforcement representatives of Saint Lucia and Martinique met late last year for a two-day conference in Fort de France.
The conference focused on practical demonstrations in the field of criminal intelligence, analysis with a focus on trace sampling, a compilation of data and cross-checks, search and detection, drone surveillance, documentary fraud investigation with a focus on passports and ID cards, and the treatment of weapons seized by the police.
The two sides planned to have monthly Zoom meetings and twice-yearly encounters in their resolve to increase cooperation against criminal elements, especially those involved in illegal gun and drug trafficking.
“The criminals have no borders and the same should apply to the Police both in Saint Lucia and Martinique,” the General Commandant of Martinique’s Gendarmerie, William Vaquette said at the time.