WITH the country ending 2019 with 51 homicides, a troubling number for crime fighters and the government, the confiscation of a rifle by police officers last Saturday at Morne Du Don seems to have pleased a number of people including Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
The seizure of the rifle, said to be a high-powered one by news outlets but not the police, has generated responses from the general public with several persons enthusiastically praising the police for spotting the firearm and taking it off the streets.
Prime Minister Chastanet, Monday was elated as well noting that with the work his government had put into fighting crime the country is moving in the right direction by the confiscation of the rifle.
He said he was alarmed at the size of the guns that are available on the ground. “It means that the effort we are making right now to beef up our police force is absolutely needed…” Chastanet said.
While media houses are describing the rifle as a high-powered firearm, with one media house calling it an M4 tactical rifle and a shorter and lighter variant of the M16 assault rifle used by military forces, the police force at press time had yet to give an exact description of the firearm.
Meanwhile, Chastanet said he was grateful for the increased traffic checks conducted by police that netted the rifle.
So far one person has been charged for being in possession of the firearm and ammunition.
Meanwhile Chastanet, during his New Year’s message over the past weekend spoke on the subject of crime in the country stating that “we must continuously work on this (crime) as a society.”
“While we have not achieved the kind of success we would all want we know that the effort we are making will begin to pay off. We remain committed to the multi-pronged strategy to significantly reduce crime,” Chastanet said.
According to the prime minister “in the next few weeks we will be making an announcement about impending changes intended to accelerate measures to bring crime under control and to strengthen the police force.”
Police today are reporting some success with their investigations into the first homicide for 2020 having arrested someone in connection with that incident which occurred Monday in Cedars, Castries.
Forty-seven-year-old Cassius Glasgow was discovered at his home with a gunshot wound to his head. His death sparked outrage in the Marchand area where he was respected for his work in helping develop soccer among the community’s children.
His death has drawn responses from the Saint Lucia Football Association with its President Lyndon Cooper lamenting the loss as “significant”.
Also condemning Glasgow’s death is Senator and Culture Minister Fortuna Belrose who also condemned the circulation of graphic images of Glasgow’s dead body via social media.
She called for continued education for those who insist on posting such graphic images with the hope that they will one day understand the harmful nature of such postings and desist from doing just that.
“Sometimes for some people when it hits home that’s when they realize the damage that they used to do,” Belrose said.
Belrose said that news of Glasgow’s death shook her because of his dedication to working with the youth by teaching them values and skills in sports.
“It is really sad when things like that happen. I just hope the perpetrator/s are caught at the earliest,” Belrose said as she extended condolences to Glasgow’s family, his ‘school’ of soccer enthusiasts and the football fraternity.