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HomeNewsCaribbean NewsSt Lucia welcomes new cabinet minister for crime prevention and persons with...

St Lucia welcomes new cabinet minister for crime prevention and persons with disability

  • First Minister for Crime Prevention and Persons with Disability, in the Office of the Prime Minister
  • … Work with all responsible partners to develop a comprehensive national plan to address the root cause of criminal activity, particularly murders, gun-related crimes, gang warfare and rivalry
  • Minister Norbert will work closely with me in fighting this scourge of criminality. I will continue to hold the portfolio of National Security.

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Following the resignation of Jeremiah Norbert, member of parliament (MP) for Micoud North as deputy speaker of the House of Assembly, February 27, 2024, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre minister for finance, economic development and the youth economy and minister for justice and national security appointed the MP on Monday, March 4, 2024, the first minister for crime prevention and persons with disability, in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

“The government of Saint Lucia seeks to enhance its crime reduction strategies through legislative and other means, including improving the efficiency of the legal and criminal justice system,” said Prime Minister Pierre at the swearing-in ceremony, at the governor general’s residence. “The government is further attempting to enhance its crime reduction strategies by the appointment … the objective of working with all parties including political parties to prepare a multi-faceted comprehensive and inclusive national plan to address the growing citizen security challenge.”

What do we have NOW?

Prime Minister Pierre, addressing the northern divisional police headquarters project, sod turning, on October 23, 2023, announced that his administration is planning to implement a ministry of national security with a standalone ministry of national security, and a permanent secretary with a set of resources.

The new mix of security ministers now comprises Prime Minister Pierre, minister for finance, economic development and the youth economy and minister for justice and national securityDr Virginia Albert-Poyotte minister for the public service, home affairs, labour and gender affairs; and Jeremiah Norbert, minister for crime prevention and persons with disability.

In February 2024, the article ‘St Lucia to welcome new cabinet minister’ stated: “On account of the government of Saint Lucia press release, Monday, February 19, 2024, advising that the minister for home affairs, Dr Virginia Albert-Poyotte, experienced a medical emergency, and that “Jeremiah Norbert, (MP for Micoud North) will adopt her ministerial responsibilities until further notice.

On Monday, Prime Minister Pierre announced: “We are aware that Dr Virginia Poyotte is currently on medical leave after undergoing medical treatment. For the time being, I have assigned these portfolios of that ministry to minister Norbert.”

Minister Norbert’s instructions

“The minister is instructed and expected to work with all responsible partners to develop a comprehensive national plan to address the root cause of criminal activity, particularly murders, gun-related crimes, gang warfare and rivalry,” Prime Minister and Minister for National Security Pierre, advised. “The intention is to work with and use all existing plans, strategies, documents and organizations that aim at making our country a more peaceful place.”

According to Prime Minister Pierre: “It is not our intention to reinvent the wheel but to use the best practices applicable to our situation. The government of Saint Lucia believes crime is only reduced when all civil and religious organizations including the media are actively involved in crime suppression activities.

Norbert himself, a former youthful successful law enforcement official who is tasked with leading this ministry and well placed to understand the complexities and challenges that young people in our society face. As minister in the office of the prime minister – minister Norbert will work closely with me in fighting this scourge of criminality,” the Prime Minister emphasised: “ I will continue to hold the portfolio of National Security.”

The development of our country

“I have full confidence in minister Norbert,” said Prime Minister Pierre, addressing the ceremony attended by cabinet ministers, senators and other guests.

The cabinet of ministers look forward to working with him as we remain focused on the development of our country. This addition to the cabinet is expected to bring added focus to the importance that government pays to citizen security and improving lives of people in our country. We are determined to reduce the level of gun violence in Saint Lucia. The new minister will be expected to focus on all suggestions, ideas, methods that are aimed at crime prevention and reduction.”

The Prime Minister continued: “I pledged to continue to provide the police with resources and equipment while allowing them the operational space to bring this unacceptable situation to an end. I once more call on all Saint Lucians to align the necessary objective of making our island a safe place to live and work.”

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