The Government of Saint Lucia has provided the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) with two more vehicles to aid in its fight against crime and has said that it will continue providing more resources to the police to assist with citizen security.
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre indicated this much at a handing over ceremony on Monday.
Speaking on the current crime situation, Pierre noted that government is doing whatever it can do to curb crime.
“We are doing what the policymakers must do. My job as prime minister is to make the tools available to create the enabling environment and to make the policy decisions that will help the police force to do what they have to do. We support them 100 percent. We’ve given them 19 (vehicles) from July and we are going to give them 20 more between now and the middle of next year. We’re in the process of ordering them so they should be here for April,” Pierre said.
Further, he stated, “we are going to assist the police with technology. We’re going to help them with drones, intelligence policing… we’ve said we’re going to increase their training and I want to tell you we are going to increase their numbers at least for the next three months. We are going to put more boots on the ground; the government will find the resources to employ at least 30 more policemen.”
Whilst government is providing its full support to the RSLPF, ridding the country of violent activities is not going to be easy, Pierre noted. He called on members of the public to join the police in its crime fighting efforts in order to eradicate crime.
Pierre also urged members of the high command to weed out members who are not doing a proper job and to “have courage”.
According to him, “there is a scourge of crime which we have to deal with; we’re concerned because it affects all of us. The government is doing whatever we can do to solve this situation. We are working with the members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (and) they’ve got the full support of the government, but they have to be accountable, and they have to have the courage and the discipline to weed out members among them who are not doing a proper job.”
“Let us work together to deal with the issues we have. There is a problem but if we do not decide (to) get together (and) work with the police to fight the problem and we go on our own tangent to seek political mileage or to believe that the government has a soft underbelly it will not benefit anyone,” Pierre added.
He also stated that despite certain claims that have been made, government is stronger than ever and urged the Force to do its job without fear or favour.
Pierre also informed the public of some of his intentions. According to him, in the coming days government will intensify stakeholder consultations “so we can continue to brainstorm and agree to implement a multi-faceted approach to fighting this scourge of crime.”
“Very soon I’m going to be having a discussion on crime where we’ll call everybody to come and speak because everyone may have a solution, the government doesn’t know everything. Let’s discuss it in a balanced, disciplined (and) sensible way, let us see if we can work together to solve this problem. We’d like to leave Saint Lucia a safer place,” he said.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Wayne Charlery, the additional vehicles will strengthen the police force’s operational efficiency and thus, “is well received and greatly appreciated.”
“It will (also) strengthen the police force’s tactical fluency, attributes necessary for the effective delivery of a results driven policing service. I look forward to the expected improvements in the tactical performance of our operational teams. We can do more, we should do more. With the continued provisioning of the requisite law enforcement equipment and resources we will do more to combat violent crime and lawlessness,” Charlery said.