Former Home Affairs and Legal Affairs Minister Velon John believes that one component in dealing with unlawful possession of firearms is deterrence achieved only through ‘creative draconian measures.’
John, who has served as a Magistrate, delivered an address dubbed ‘Crime A Certain Perception’ amid an upsurge in violent crime in Saint Lucia, which has seen the country chalk up a record in the number of homicides.
The former Laborie MP asserted that there should be no bail for unlawful possession of firearms.
John expressed that once law enforcement authorities arrest someone, they should detain the offender until the court date.
And the Attorney at Law indicated that once there is a conviction, imprisonment should be mandatory.
“In this regard, there should be two ‘periods’ of time and one ‘type’ of time—five years and ten years in one instance and “hard time” in the other,” the former Minister stated.
Explaining what he meant by ‘hard time’ John declared that there should be no intervention such as for good behaviour.
John said there are two considerations – that Saint Lucia is in a state of crisis and guns kill.
Noting that there have been and will be gunfights in the heart of local communities, the former Minister said the Police must be in the vanguard of what he described as ‘these ballistic encounters.’
But he lamented that to date, the Police had failed miserably.