The Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture wishes through this statement, to voice its grave concern over the recent spate of gun related incidents on the island and more particularly the unprecedented prevalence of gun related displays in Vieux Fort.
The year has seen an extremely high level of gun violence and murders in Saint Lucia. The scenes of gun fire making rounds on social media, reflect poorly on our country, and can have devastating consequences for the country’s image as a safe and peaceful place to live and an ideal holiday destination. This continued blatant and regular incidents of gunfire threatens the lives of everyday citizens going about their regular normal lives, as well as their safety, even in the comfort of their homes.
The Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture has been one of the voices constantly lamenting the state of lawlessness in the country and continues to call for strategic collective action. The threat to lives and livelihoods is real as sections of Vieux Fort have now become “no go zones.” This cannot be allowed to be the norm. The Chamber calls upon the authorities to move decisively to arrest this type of occurrence.
The Chamber reiterates its previous calls, for the government and police to demonstrate responsible leadership in addressing this matter. While the cliché “crime is indeed everybody’s business,” has been stated on numerous occasions, the prime responsibility lies with the State, and the provision of safety and security is the most important and fundamental responsibility and obligation of any government.
In that context, the Chamber believes that decisive and targeted action on the part of the police and fully supported by the government is required to bring back a sense of order and normalcy to the nation and Vieux Fort in particular. The entire community is suffering, and the impact will grow if not arrested speedily.
For its part, the Board of Directors of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture urges the business community and nation by extension to remain vigilant at this time, and to take all necessary precautions within reason to protect themselves, team members, and their property.