IN seeking combative measures to deal with the recent crime wave that has affected business establishments, islandwide, the St Lucia Chamber of Commerce elicited discussions with the local police to sort out the matter.
Consequently, the Chamber’s Law and Order Committee convened an urgent meeting with the Royal St. Lucia Police Force [RSLPF] to discuss the recent spate of armed robberies.
Cognizant of the recent crime wave over the last month, on the business community, the Chamber had earlier called for increased police presence in the city and its environs. The chamber also recommended some specific actions by businesses to safeguard their employees and customers.
Executive Director of the Chamber Brian Louisy, said the meeting was fruitful and issues proposed to help deal with the situation.
“One of the main things coming out was a commitment from the police force to conduct training for employees so that they could better handle situations, and so they can be a little more conscious of crime and they could be more pro-active to avoid some incidents,” Louisy told reporters.
He said the matter also involved devising strategies “that the business community can use so that they themselves can more effectively protect themselves, as well as, work with the police in this (collaborative) effort.”
Louisy said the chamber is currently working on several other initiatives geared to address members concerns.
“Training for chamber members …so they will be in a position to provide psycho-social support when there is a crisis, be it crime related, natural disasters or what have you,” he disclosed.
The chamber official says this is an initiative that they are working on and within the next month or so, they will be able “to make an announcement on that and invite members of the chamber and even civil society to participate.”
Subsequently, the chamber plans to hold another important meeting, this time with the health authorities concerning the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases.
Prior to this latter meeting, Chair of the Chamber’s Law and Order Committee Irvin Springer said, “The Law and Order Committee will in the near future bring together the Chief Security Officers of Chamber Member Companies to share best practice and to see how they can work closer together and with the Police to combat this scourge.”
Springer also noted that “We intend in short order to mount a campaign for members of the Business Community to support the CCTV Surveillance agenda of the RSLPF to broaden the scope of coverage now provided by CCTV cameras in Castries and the rest of the country.”
Meanwhile as the business community and police seek collaborative measures to deal with this most worrisome situation, bandits were again at it on Tuesday.
Reports state that the attempt by two bandits to commit a robbery at Dr. Freezers on High Street, Castries was foiled by the quick work of a security officer from a business house in close proximity.
Eye witnesses report that the masked bandits had entered the fast food restaurant and ice cream parlour when an alert security guard at another business establishment, recognising that something was amiss, discharged several rounds.
It is further reported that upon hearing the sounds of gun fire, the two bandits fled empty handed.
Just last month, bandits robbed the same business place, fleeing with cash within seconds after committing their crime which was recorded on CCTV cameras.
Manager Darren James told reporters that at the time of that incident, two men wearing masks, one of whom was brandishing a firearm, entered the business establishment and held up two employees while demanding cash.