Minister for Crime Prevention Intends to Work with Opposition

By Marvlin Anthony

MINISTER for Crime Prevention Jeremiah Norbert said he intends to work with the opposition as the government seeks to bring crime under control, which is in no way proving easy for the current administration.

Over the past two years, as criminal activities escalated, the government has taken several initiatives to combat crime, with the Regional Security System coming to Saint Lucia last year to provide much-needed assistance. The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force also launched a Crime Hotline app the same year.

Most recently, last month, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre sat with Gérald Darmanin, Minister for the Interior and Overseas Territories of the Republic of France and other officials to discuss key issues affecting the two countries.

At that meeting ,where emphasis was placed on increasing security measures between Saint Lucia and Martinique, was President of the Executive Council of Martinique Serge Letchimy and Prefect of Martinique Jean Christophe Bouvier.

MINISTER for Crime Prevention Jeremiah Norbert
MINISTER for Crime Prevention Jeremiah Norbert

As the government continues its fight crime, Minister Norbert said that it’s “everybody’s business including the Opposition.”

“One of the things that he, PM Pierre mandated is that I listen to everybody and that I bring all stakeholders together,” The Minister told the reporters.

He also acknowledged that police officers are affected “when a homicide happens because sometimes it’s a reflection on them as well. I know that the police will do everything that they can to ensure that we’re able to keep crime under control.”

Opposition Leader Allen Chastanet, for his part, has expressed interest in working with government to deal with the crime situation. he has even penned an Open Letter to PM Pierre on the ‘crime crisis’ saying that in 2022 “with the state of crime being worse than it has ever been, and the economic implications to follow, we as leaders must come together to fight this scourge. Our very social and economic existence is threatened if we are unable to arrest the growing issue of crime in our country.”

“The intention of this letter is to offer to you some ideas that will help to slow down the current trends and hopefully contribute to a significant longer-term reduction of violent crime. It is my strong belief that it’s only through government led coordination with civil society and inclusion of the Opposition that we can create the greatest opportunity for a sustained solution to the problems that we now face and put a stop to the flagrant criminality and terror being perpetrated on the people of Saint Lucia, in particular, the gun related murders that have now reached new levels,” Allen Chastanet said.

He also said that the letter was written “in the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship.”

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