THE island’s crime situation is attracting the attention of the island’s top government and securioty officials, who are all calling on citizens to help protect themselves.
Castries Mayor Peterson Francis is soliciting the help of citizens to keep the city safe and secure — and not just for the Christmas Season, but indefinitely.
His plea, made during his address at the Festival of Lights ceremony Wednesday night on the Sir Derek Walcott Square, comes amid an unprecedented jump in violent crime in the country lately involving stabbings and shootings that have left many persons, innocent and intended victims, either dead or critically wounded.
So bad is the crime situation that Police Commissioner Severin Monchery last week issued a warning to criminals that the police force will protect citizens and use force as per the limits of the law in doing so. He also promised more boots on the ground this season.
From officers occupying the top positions in the police force to the youngest constable, all will be on the streets, Monchery said.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet also referred to the crime situation in the country this week when, in a message on National Day posted on his official Facebook account, he noted that crime was a serious challenge facing the country.
“Strategically, we have taken decisions as a government to strengthen our police force and justice system and we recognize we still have a long way to go,” he wrote. He too, called on citizens to support the police in efforts to combat crime.
But whatever strategic decisions the government may have taken to strengthen the police force seem to have some deficiencies, as Monchery himself spoke of some of the strategies and plans of the police force for this year not bearing fruit.
Mayor Francis, while reminding citizens of the many atrocities, transgressions and lawlessness committed throughout this year, which many of them had observed, told them that their efforts are needed to curb “those situations which we are faced with, for the fight against crime remains a major national priority — and it’s everyone’s business.”
“With the little influence I possess”, the mayor said, “I will continue to toil committedly towards the development of the City of Castries and with our city police to keep our city safe and secure.”
Noting the praise and commendations given to his office for the work it is doing in trying to bring the City of Castries up to a certain high standard, Mayor Francis pointed out that the praises and tributes are not needed at this time but the assistance of everyone in cleansing the city of violent acts.
“Assist me in transforming the city, assist me in weeding out the law breakers, assist me in getting rid of the criminals, assist in dealing with the transgressors,” Francis said.
He added, “Support me in Castries. Let your praise and commendation be your voice to change the city. Although elevated from a town to a city in 1967, a revival, a rebirth or reincarnation of Castries City is urgently needed.”
He also called for a rebirth in several areas like infrastructure development; approach to security and safety and in the culture of the people among others.