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St Lucia’s security challenges continues

– A New Minister of Home Affairs assumes office

– DPP highlights nothing progressive

RSLPF’s Sgt. 806 Ann Joseph reports on progress following the recent upsurge in violent crimes in the Northern and Central Divisions.

By Caribbean News Global contributor

MON REPOS, St Lucia – Deprived of taking notice or being influenced by legitimate concerns, the narrative is true – Saint Lucia’s security challenges continues. Others profess – nowhere is ‘safe in Saint Lucia’. And as defined by the Suppression of Escalated Crime (Police Powers) Bill – 2023, “to provide police officers with additional powers for the suppression of escalated crime,” continues the long-standing national security malaise that has been allowed to fester.

St Lucia police given ‘additional powers’ to battle crime wave

Saint Lucia continues to descend further into lawlessness and chaos, while the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, (RSLPF) take comfort in a new fleet of replacement vehicles and exotic rides. And despite repeated appeals, the RSLPF is useless to itself on the mantra to serve and protect coupled with a justice system to ensure punishment for violations.

At the same time, the country and its people continue to suffer amidst record homicides, armed robberies, car theft, cutlass attacks, school violence, and now regular street fighting between civilian rivals and gangsters. This has triggered further security instability. The situation is particularly worrying in the now-besieged city of Castries and the environs.

Five homicides rocked St Lucia over the weekend

The actions of the RSLPF are merely an after-the-fact reactionary unit that continues to face serious challenges, even when arrests are made and charges are laid on suspects.

The woefully unfunded and resource-challenged RSLPF are in a race against lawlessness and crime to avert weekly loss of lives and livelihoods. While the construct of the tripod policy and government apparatus is unfit for the coordination of operational resources, policy and leadership.

More Saint Lucian lives are at risk this year – 40 homicides and counting, amid hundreds of ongoing investigations, stuck in the pipeline, while the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) is overcrowded, a mess unto itself.

These circumstances amount to human rights violations and abuses against civilians. The situation cannot improve without a change of the status quo.

On the other hand, with blatant disregard for fundamental human rights and international law, important security measures are dubious to the once prescribed rebranding of the RSLPF; minister in the office of the prime minister responsible for crime prevention and persons with disabilities, Jeremiah Norbert, ascribes to the  police ‘wearing body camera.’

“… We are going to look into how we can implement something of that sort,” … “Because of the way the police are going to carry themselves, naturally we are going to see that translating into the public having more confidence in the police because I think that is an issue. If you are always being recorded there are no closed doors to worry about,” Norbert said. […].

St Lucia Halls of Justice belated information

The first phase of the construction works of the Halls of Justice (HOJ) is two years from the start of construction and is expected to centralize the civil, criminal and family courts in one convenient and secure location in the capital, meantime,  judicial operations continue to face serious challenges.

The facts, circumstances, and root causes of crime and lawlessness in Saint Lucia will not be solved – by any mandated – if as serve, in their capacities, law-related violations are “facilitated by corrupt politicians/government officials, business persons and police officers.”

No answers, no justice

Meanwhile, the director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Daarsrean Greene’s press conference, June 19, 2024, served the illogical and legitimacy of its [dis] functionality and illustrated to the world. The optics provided non-answers to longstanding and decades-old investigations, meantime families are suffering in isolation – “plenty of questions, no answers, no justice.”

“The organs of the state are on life support,” a legal expert commented. “With delayed justice and minimal to no accountability, illegitimacy can rapidly settle in – leading to a state of dysfunction.”

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre delivering the 2024/2025 budget address, April 23, 2024, said: “To assist with the effectiveness of crime reduction strategies, I have appointed a minister with responsibility for crime prevention, with the objective of working with all parties including political parties, to prepare a multi-faceted and comprehensive national plan to address the growing citizen security challenges.”

Elevated distinction

On May 21, 2024, the Saint Lucia Gazette published a change of portfolio. “Minister Jeremiah Norbert’s portfolio is minister in the office of the prime minister with responsibility for Home Affairs, Crime Prevention and Persons with Disabilities.

“ The ministry of home affairs, crime prevention and persons with disabilities has oversight for the Saint Lucia Fire Service, the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF), Probation and Parole Services, Citizenship and Youth Delinquency Services.”

The Prime Minister’s 2024/2025 budget address reads: “The first responsibility of any government is the safety and protection of its citizens, because all their rights and privileges depend on it.”

CNG Insights

The National security of Saint Lucia requires much competence of skills, resources and gravitas not currently in the apparatus of the RSLPF and the policy jurisdictions of the government.

With each passing week and month, national security is ostensively diluted and compromised. The security challenges continues!

RSLPF’s Sgt. 806 Ann Joseph reports on progress following the recent upsurge in violent crimes in the Northern and Central Divisions.

@GlobalCaribbean  fav



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