By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre is said to have met with members of the Regional Security System (RSS) Friday in Barbados, to explore avenues for cooperation on crime management in Saint Lucia, announced a press release from the office of the prime minister (OPM).
The release stated that the prime minister – who is also minister for national security, in addition to his extended portfolio, “remains committed to ensuring citizen safety and indicated that particularly violent crime caused by illegal firearms over the past years must be tackled scientifically and as a public health concern.”
In a recent article – Vieux-Fort South: A case study in lawlessness, Denys Springer, ‘Hard Talk’, observed:
… “National security per se is now overburdened by having people at the top … that has to be synchronized. Having two ministers running such an important ministry (part-time) will not flourish as it should.
“Prime Minister Philip Pierre in my view has enough on his plate (office of the prime minister – (OPM) minister for finance, economic development and the youth economy – national security) at this juncture and therefore, he cannot be over-burdened.”
“I believe a special minister for national security and ministry must be appointed and in that case, as I have mentioned before, a mini cabinet reshuffle is now needed and necessary.”
According to the OPM press release, Friday:
“The timely prosecution and just punishment of crime will also be utilised to signal this administration’s intent on protecting citizens, communities and the reputation of Saint Lucia.”
Relatively, it may be necessary for the government of Saint Lucia to address crime, using modern tools and the reality the presents itself:
- The IMPACS report and its reputation is a major huddle to address crime in Saint Lucia. Police administration and the police commission are seemingly stalemates to rights and freedom and the proper execution of peace and justice.
- The drug trade and the underground economy are primary to the politics, government, and governance – the cartel operation of things Lucian and the larger business environment to address crime. The country cannot continue to politize and pussyfoot. There is a great need for strong transformative leadership and to seriously prioritise – law enforcement.
- The exclusion of the youth and young people in the social and economy underlines the country’s long-standing crime wave. However, the clique of “community leaders” purveyors of organised criminal activities – and the acceptance of gang leaders to operate and manage communities is absurd.
- The making of a Mafia enclave? This leads to understanding who the criminals are; and the acceptance of a criminal network, that is ingrained in the institution of government, governance and the economy of Saint Lucia.
A man reaps what he sows
The use of the RSS is neither strategic nor tactical – should the view here is equivalent to ratting out and snitching, even for a cut.
Galatians, Chapter 6: vs 8: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
The criminal justice system and reform are a major worry to crime leading to and throughout 2022. Moreover, the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) is antiquated and the Saint Lucia police commissioner should be fired and the RSLPF disbanded.
And in light of 31 murders (as of publication) and countless discrepancies in law and order with daily criminal infractions, and the muted response of those charged to deal with law and order, it is justified that both the hierarchy of law and order and the advisers to the same are doing an injustice to the country.
However, the priority seems: “Saint Lucia hopes to capture the overwhelming demand for Carnival” dubbed “nothing sweeter than that”.
“Summer activities will continue with a focus on immersive adventure and nurturing the increasing demand for the brand, Collection de Pépites. The excitement continues with the hosting of the Free Kick Youth Football Cup from July 26th to August 1st and the return of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground from September 5 – 12.”
Correspondingly, the deeds of gun violence and crime (murder, suicide, blue and white colour crime) the reality in Saint Lucia is detrimental to lives and the economy. Thus, it is clear that – the hierarchy of law and order, and advisers to the government are brutishly ill-advised and useless to the prime minister and the country.
In the light of Saint Lucia’s crime wave, the OPM press release said: “During the upcoming sitting of parliament scheduled for July, the government will introduce legislation to cause for stiffer penalties for illegal firearm and ammunition possession and expects
bipartisan support from the opposition on this proposed Bill to equip the Judiciary with the legal tools to put away perpetrators,” adding “ the Swift Justice Project is also expected to come on stream and will be geared towards reducing the backlog of criminal cases by increasing technical and administrative support to the Criminal High Court.”
Relative to training, the OPM announced that it: “Has reinstated the training budget to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) which was stopped by the previous administration and will continue to provide the necessary resources recommended by the High Command of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to assist in national security.”
Saint Lucia is a small developing state where everyone is interconnected. “You know, what I know – let’s just get along”. Therein suggests an implied interest in the state of things! More so, the average age of victims of gun violence, crime, and offenders are troubling, hoovering between 21/25 years.
Speaking at the acceptance of the chairmanship of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) board of governors, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, prime minister Pierre, said:
“I urge Member States (CDB) to focus on the economic wellbeing of our young people. The government of Saint Lucia has created a special place in our economy for youth entrepreneurship and business growth within the general economic system to be pursued in the immediate future. In that space youth will be provided with state resources to help them convert hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into businesses through finance and marketing support, training and mentorship; thus, creating sustainable livelihoods and a new cadre of indigenous business people. A dedicated agency which is agile, flexible and responsive is being created to drive that policy.”
And whereas said the OPM press release: “Citizen participation and cooperation with the police will also be instrumental in ameliorating the crime situation,” – this is wishful thinking is a state of play that is entrenched with corruption, double agents, and people who are desperate to live by any means necessary, taking a page from politicians at the last election: “We will win by any means necessary”.
The press release advised that the prime minister reiterated his call to “the High Command of the RSLPF to do their part in addressing the crime situation; as crime only serves to scar families, loved ones, communities and to tarnish the reputation of our country.”
Therein, one cannot get a different result and/or constructive advice to remedy a national security malfunction from those that are the root cause of the problem.
And again, is there an implied interest in the state of things, from those that a mandated via state employment, inclusive of politicians – the executive branch of government – to get it right?
The mandate is simple – Fix it? Or, go home? As such, strong decisive leadership is needed! The buck stops with the government of the day!