Gun violence in Vieux Fort is rattling the security apparatus of the country to the point where Prime Minister Philip J Pierre calls it “a situation of concern” and that it must be dealt with immediately.
To put action to his words last Monday Police Commissioner, Milton Desir; Vieux Fort Mayor, Cyril Saltibus; Head of the Police Southern Division, Elvis Thomas and members of the Commissioner’s office, visited the areas most affected by gun violence in Vieux Fort.
The group held talks with key stakeholders of the town on strategies to help quell the violence assuring the public that efforts will be made to stick to the strategies employed to fight the scourge.
Over the past few days there was an uptick in gun violence in Vieux Fort which claimed at least one life over the weekend.
Mayor Saltibus has condemned the surge in gun violence in his town saying that “this callous disregard for life is ripping families apart, instilling fear amongst residents and creating a negative reputation for the community.”
“No one should live in fear in a place they call home,” he said, adding that no parent or child should be plunged into grieving by senseless murders.
“Enough is enough. We need to speak out not only to condemn the death of loved ones but to expose the perpetrators and those who harbour them,” Saltibus said.
He called on residents of Vieux Fort to stand up against gun violence and work at identifying and resolving the causes of the problem from its core.
But as mayor what are his plans to combat gun violence in his town?
Said Saltibus: “As your mayor, I am limited by the powers and resources of my office, but I can advocate on our behalf. Advocate for more police presence and result oriented strategies.”
He said he plans to invite all concerned Saint Lucians to take a stand against what he called “the senseless and destructive path by those involved in this unlawful surge. And that he will follow up with the authorities and assist where he can with their strategies in helping to chart the community back on the right path.
Vieux Fort South representative in parliament Dr. Kenny Anthony says he condemns the acts of violence taking place in his constituency and calls on the police to spare no effort in tracking down the perpetrators so as to bring them to justice.
“I call on Vieux Fortians to play their part by cooperating with law enforcement agencies,” Anthony said, noting that he was given the assurance by Police Commissioner Desir that the violence in Vieux Fort will be brought under control.