CASTRIES – Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre says addressing the crime situation in St Lucia “is a concern for all citizens” and that strengthening of the judicial system is a priority for his administration.
Pierre was reacting to last weekend’s mass shooting incident where three people were killed and several others injured including an off-duty police officer at a party in Coolie Town, west of here.
“We are now relying heavily on the Marigot Community to give us the necessary support so what we can restore a semblance of a safe community in Marigot by limiting the ability of the criminals to operate and the opportunities available to them,” Deputy Police Commissioner, Wayne Charlery, told a news conference, adding that there’s a plan to prevent any further escalation in the gun violence.
But in a message posted on his Facebook page, Pierre said that while normally he would have received a report from the Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, he instead requested an “emergency meeting” with the hierarchy to discuss the incident.
Pierre, extended his “sincerest condolences to those who lost loved ones,” assuring St. Lucians that his administration, which came to office in July last year “will continue to provide resources and training to the RSLPF (Royal St Lucia Police Force) and challenged the hierarchy to use more innovative strategies, professionalism and proactiveness in their work”.
Pierre said he has tasked the Attorney General to “expedite the drafting and review of the needed legislation” to assist the police in discharging their duties,” adding “the strengthening of the judicial system has also been prioritised in our budgetary allocation to facilitate the timely and just prosecution of the perpetrators of crime.
“Addressing this crime situation is a concern for all citizens. We are better than this. Let’s do better,” Pierre said.
The police have so made no arrests following the mass shooting that left 46 –year-old janitor, Versia Alexander, 27-year-old store attendant Tamara Edmund, and disc jockey, Kervin Joseph, dead.
Media reports said that there had been more than one assailant and Desir, told reporters that despite the Coolie Town incident, there has been constant police action to bring about crime reduction.
Last year, St Lucia recorded 74 murders. (CMC)