Minister Norbert Praises Police in Fight Against Crime, Says Gov’t to Implement Stringent Measures

Newly installed Minister for Crime Prevention Jeremiah Norbert   has stated that government is working towards implementing more stringent measures in the fight against crime.

Speaking to reporters, at a media briefing, on Monday, he said the authorities remain determined to take a holistic approach to tackling crime in the country. And this measure will involve all agencies, civil society and interest groups, including opposing political parties.

The minister said  that crime is everybody’s business and the administration intends to bring all stakeholders together to tackle this issue.

“I will make a deliberate effort …to ensure that we get everybody involved, including the opposition and give them a seat around the table, so we can discuss the matter,” said Minister Norbert.

When Saint Lucia is doing well, when we have less crime we as Saint Lucians are doing well, he said. It is not the government or the opposition, we as a people are doing well so I will ensure that when we have the stakeholders’ meetings, the opposition is given a seat at the table, he added

Over the past years, the government has sought the assistance of external sources to assist in the fight against crime. And they have received support from the Regional Security System [RSS], and lately the French Government.

Honourable Jeremiah Norbert, the Member of Parliament for Micoud North
Honourable Jeremiah Norbert, the Member of Parliament for Micoud North

“We have gotten assistance from various agencies and we welcome all the assistance that we’ve got,” Norbert said.

Nonetheless, Norbert said, “I am very confident in the abilities of our police officers in Saint Lucia and commend them for their efforts. Especially, in the past weeks, you would have seen a significant improvement in terms of police presence and police operations being undertaken.”

The minister contends that the increase in officers on the beat, has brought about a slowdown in the crime figures and it shows that our police officers are ready to work, and sometimes we have to augment what they’re doing with the assistance of other agencies.

He stressed that being a former law enforcement officer for more than 10 years, he has full confidence in the ability and professionalism of the Royal St Lucia Police Force and the other agencies responsible for crime fighting in Saint Lucia.

He said, the government is “doing what it can” to provide the resources, training and further providing the police with “what they need to combat crime”.

The minister added: “Crime is something that is bigger than the police and all of us have the responsibility, and if all of us play our role, I know that the police too will play their role effectively and we will see a significant decline in  numbers that relate to crime, especially gun-related offenses.”

Saint Lucia is due to host a para-military drill, next month. More than 200 law enforcement officials will be here for the Regional Security System’s (RSS) Unity Exercise 2024 (UNEX ’24), which is scheduled to take place from April 2 to 13.

A spokesperson said that these activities are designed “to strengthen our law enforcement agencies so that they may be better equipped to perform their national law enforcement and RSS duties and protect the people for whose security they are responsible”.

Security officials from; Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, St. Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will participate in the exercise.

Commenting on this upcoming venture, the Minister said: “All sorts of training is welcome, especially military training. And I know that the police officers will also welcome the opportunity to beef up their expertise.

We see that the whole crime situation is an evolving one, and we need to ensure that the police officers are up-to-date in terms of their training and their ability and it will go a long way, in terms of helping the police officers with their efforts in combating crime.”

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