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PWA backs demolition of Castries prison building

Image: Under the government’s plan, the old Police Headquarters building which will remain as a national symbol.

PRESS RELEASE – THE Police Welfare Association (PWA) has called on the ‘powers that be’ to allow the building that housed the prison on upper Bridge Street in Castries to be torn down.

The High Court on Sunday ordered a halt to demolition of the building and other works on the site., after the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) filed an injunction in the matter.

“PWA finds it rather absurd that at this juncture there is a call, and even an injunction against the demolition of the old HMP building,” the Police Welfare Association said in a written statement Wednesday to St Lucia Times.

“This is a building which has been abandoned for over a decade and, as far as we know, no one, no organization had claimed it, expressed any interest in it or announced any plans for it. For us the police, how does it affect us? For years now, this has been the harboring ground for vagrants, criminals, mosquitoes and rodents- a storage area for garbage, drugs and even stolen items,” the statement observed.

It asserted that the area undoubtedly poses threats to both the health of Police officers and their safety and security.

“We are definitely not opposed to the preservation of historical structures, but at what cost? Our health and safety should be at the top of the priority list,”the PWA statement declared.

It observed that the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and the Saint Lucia Fire Service need a place to call home and the location of the Castries prison ‘is ideal for us.’

“We call on the powers that be to allow for the demolition and also to see within quick time the erection of the Fire Service and Police Headquarters,” the PWA asserted.

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