Police Commissioner Severin Monchery is hitting back at criminals whom, these past few days, have brought blood and gore to communities both in Castries and Vieux Fort in violent acts that have claimed lives, pushing the homicide count to 41 so far for the year.
Asserting that the criminals “have declared war” on the citizens and the police, Monchery promised that the men and women of the police force will not back down to the criminals and will remain committed to the safety of citizens.
“From all indications, it would appear that you (criminals) have declared war on our citizens and by extension the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
“All I will say to you is that the RSLFP will continue to ensure the safety and security of Saint Lucians and in doing so will defend them fully,” Monchery said.
His warning was aimed at criminals parading in all guises: “the time has come where we have to deal with not only crimes on the streets and in the ghettos, but across Saint Lucia. Whether you are in high office, officer, politicians, pastor, teacher or priest — the law will apply to everyone,” Monchery said.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday at the Prime Minister’s Office, Monchery said the force was unable – after reviewing its plans and strategies – to meet some of its intended targets for the year.
One such target was to keep the homicide count for the year to 25 or under, while another was to keep serious crime down to a particular level. But when asked yesterday whether he thought his plan for 25 homicides for the year was too ambitious, Monchery said “No, I would not say I was too ambitious.”
With this year’s plans and strategies a bit off-target, he said, the force will be putting in place new ones which will be “more head on, more aggressive and more targeted.”
He promised criminals that the police force will use force against them as permitted under the Criminal Code, should they create the atmosphere and the situation for such force to be used.
Of the 41 homicides to date, one involves a police shooting. Out of that amount, however, only 17 have resulted in charges being laid. Most of those arrested and charged are on remand awaiting trial at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
Meanwhile, Monchery and other officers in the hierarchy of the police force are not pleased with the closure of the forensic laboratory at Tapion, stating that the closure is hampering their investigations in several matters.
“It is slowing-down the process by which we get the returns on our requests and responses.
“We would definitely love to have the forensic lab up and functioning to capacity,” Assistant Commissioner Wayne Charlery said.