Police Commissioner Talks Tough on Crime in Saint Lucia

Commissioner of Police Crusita Descartes-Pelius
Commissioner of Police Crusita Descartes-Pelius

Citing the urgent need to provide safety for the citizenry, Commissioner of Police Crusita Descartes-Pelius spoke out on the escalating crime scene permeating the country, in the wake of the latest shooting spree which resulted in the death of three Vieux Fort residents on Thursday.

Noting the country is beset by another “critical occurrence” of criminality, the Commissioner described the situation as, “A growing prevalence of criminal elements spilling over into our public domain and claiming lives of our citizenry.”

Cognizant of the role that law enforcement plays in the preservation of citizens’ security, she stated that throughout the year, the Royal St Lucia Police Force [RSLPF] “has recorded tremendous operational successes” such as increase police visibility through patrols, traffic checks, community outreach programmes, seizure of about 40 firearms to date, prosecution of offenders , contact with the public to foster  better partnerships to address the rising crime threats and trends and increase collaboration with partners in the region, especially the French , in crime fighting and border control operations.

Commissioner Descartes-Pelius said that through the RSLPF’s intelligence gathering efforts, “we have been able to successfully avert the commission of several homicides.”

She said that though Thursday’s dilemma at Vieux Fort was “truly disheartening” nonetheless, it does not portray a lack of resilience by the officers in conducting their duties.

“These were the actions of cowards intent on spreading mayhem, which we will not allow,” noted the commissioner.

Following the recent shootings in Vieux Fort, she said, the police immediately set out to implement “short term measures to allay the fears of residents, commuters, the business community and other concerned citizens.”

The Commissioner explained that some of the measures disclosed in the fight against crime will include “a heavy presence of uniformed police officers by way of foot and mobile patrols geared towards increasing contacts with members of the public to provide not only physical security, but also a sense of safety as they traverse around the town and its environs.”

She said, other efforts will include having a team of investigators on the ground, reaching out to partner agencies, such as social groups, governmental agencies, business associations, religious and educational institutions “to holistically address the challenges presented by the sustained acts of violence in the area.”

Added Descartes- Pelius: “Violence cannot be addressed by short-term measures, neither by the actions of solely the police.”

She said it would have to take a concerted effort between the citizenry and the police to root out the perpetrators and their accomplices “to no longer accept this ruse.”

The commissioner noted, “We are at a pivotal moment in our history …and we got to decide to be a country of supporters of law and order, (rather than) a country of miscreants and those who provide safe haven to them.”

Appealing for the courage and determination to continue the fight against crime, she asserted: “The Royal St Lucia Police Force will not stand by and allow this without a fight. A fight we must, for we cannot allow the few to overpower the many.”

She added, “We need to preserve the sustainability of this country Saint Lucia…we can no longer do nothing…without action we stand as prey simply awaiting our turn to be impacted by the callous actions of the few .

“Together, we can do this with concerted efforts between the police, all affiliates and the public. The fight can and will be successfully waged against crime.”

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