How comforting are the latest crime figures?

Try to imagine the universal reaction if during his most recent State of the Union address President Obama had said: “Every night before we go to bed Michelle and I pray for divine intervention in the Middle East and for the good Lord to protect our beloved America from the reaches of ISIS.”

Try to conceive of Manuel Valls, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, telling the congregated placard-bearing devastated millions at the Place de la Republique, as well as countless other protesters world-wide, that they should join the French government in praying for an attitudinal change on the part of Al Qaeda toward the United States.

ACP Alexander, Police Commissioner Vernon Francois, acting Deputy  Commissioner Frances Henry at Press Conference on Crime Stats Wednesday.

ACP Alexander, Police Commissioner Vernon Francois, acting Deputy
Commissioner Frances Henry at Press Conference on Crime Stats Wednesday.

Unimaginable, you say? So how does the prime minister of Saint Lucia—with its 500 and climbing unresolved homicides, countless reported and unreported rapes, escalating burglaries and a police force that is itself widely suspected of having committed several murders—get away with suggesting we should leave it to God to solve our crime problems?

This is how the prime minister put it this week, evidently having forgotten that God helps only those who help themselves: “As a nation we must pray for a more harmonious, tranquil and peaceful 2015.”

In the meantime, said the prime minister, the police that he had himself labeled corrupt here and elsewhere, “must be commended for its work in 2014, especially as regards social outreach.”

Additionally: “There have been specific interventions in some of our more troubled areas to minimize the incidence of gang-related activities.”

Ironically, the same “specific interventions” were at the heart of the recently concluded IMPACS investigation of extra-judicial killings allegedly committed by some members of the force on the orders of certain politicians.

In his New Year address on Sunday, the campaigning prime minister sought to make hay of what he described as “a reduction in the volume of major crime, including motor vehicle theft, burglary and sexual offences.”

He noted that the number of homicides had also reduced in 2014.

On Tuesday, the police mounted their own pedestal to repeat what for them was good news. However, it is doubtful that what they said—including that there were only 34 homicides in 2014—brought comfort to the relatives of the 500 victims of homicides still unresolved. Or to suspects languishing for years behind bars without a trial date. Or to the woman recently raped at gunpoint by two masked individuals, in the presence of her boyfriend.

In any event, the crime figures cited by the prime minister in his own political interest and by the police press officer with the badly tarnished image of the force in mind are less than reliable.

It is no secret that most rapes go unreported. Ditto burglaries and so-called sex offences, for several reasons, not least of them egregious police incompetence and the escalating effeteness of the whole justice system.

On average it takes five years to get reported matters before the court. The police force, thanks to its problems with the Leahy arrangements, is underfunded, demoralized, ill-equipped and undermanned.

The particularly bad publicity the force has received in relation to the unresolved murders of non-nationals, the latest being Ollie Gobat, has not helped.

Of course, the prime minister chose to avoid discussion of such life and death matters this week, as did the police at their own press conference.

Instead, Inspector Eddie Monlouis patted his colleagues on the back, saying that what they had achieved this year, despite all they’ve faced, was both “admirable and commendable.”

Inspector Monlouis may have a point!

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6 Responses to How comforting are the latest crime figures?

  1. Severian Hilein says:

    Mr Rick Wayne: Good Morning,
    May I kindly ask you and most intellectuals as you self. What enables a person to see,hear,think,talk,walk etc?. It is quite likely that most persons who sees this post will most likely say what a foolish question because they perceive they know the answer, may be even you may think so. The problem for most people in this world, they think they know all things when in reality they don’t even know who they are. Therefore, how is it possible to know that which is outside of them selves. If a person don’t know the source of their ability it means that they don’t know where they came from and where they are going. Most things that people think they know are that which is not but they think that the things are. Who soever desire the answer to my original question may respond by the email provided below.

  2. No BS!! says:

    lol good point!!

  3. Tarik Leon says:

    Mr. Wayne, I so admire how you exercise the freedom of your mouth to speak bullshit. What is disappointing is that you fail to exercise the freedom of your mind to come up with viable solutions to the problems that plague the justice system.

  4. Poor People Fed up! says:

    The Police cannot take credit for anything because they have not done anything to get credit for. The people who deserves the credit are the Bible preaching Churches on the island who practice Prayer and Fasting on a weekly basis interceding for the nation about the crime situation, the government, the economic situation etc. Sometime last year some of those churches had a march from Bethel Tabernacle to the Boulevard where Prayer was held for the nation. God is now answering those prayers but unless those wicked men in power, including the police, humble themselves before the Lord he cannot fully solve their problem nor should they take his credit for themselves.

  5. Poor People fed up! says:

    Rick I have been barred from opening you website and I will not contribute until the situation is resolved.
    Please note: There is no where in the Bible which states that: God help those who help themselves.

  6. Anon says:

    Of course any reduction in any area of crime is commendable especially as the police are working with one hand behind their back so much of the time because of the desperate shortage of resources available to process and resolve crimes. It is this shortage of resources that needs addressing together with the social issues creating an environment that breeds crime. The shortages are not only with the police but the whole justice system. Desperate situations need desperate measures and it is not for the Good Lord to provide these.

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