Will anyone ever be arrested for bomb scares?

Peynier and Micoud streets sealed off by police due to bomb threat. (Photo: Bill Mortley)

Just after 9am on Tuesday February 8 yet another bomb threat was called in at the High Court in Castries.  It was the latest in a constant string of hoaxes.  It’s no coincidence, the building houses the Traffic Court, Magistrates’ Court, Civil Court, Criminal Court and the Registrar’s office.
The courts have had a long standing tradition of threats against personnel, bomb scares and suspected voodoo rituals including frogs being dumped into the courtroom.  More often than not the perpetrators are never brought before the courts.  In today’s St Lucia, bomb threats are the order of the day at schools, government buildings, banks and of course the High Court.  The question arises as to what can be done to curb these annoyances?
Officials tell us that one of the most difficult cases to prove in this country is that of a hoax.  Said our source: “When someone calls claiming there is a bomb in the particular area, the first thing that needs to be done is to trace the call.  Usually when these types of calls are made, no one is ready for it.  Even if a telecommunications company is able to trace the landline or cellular phone to a location and the suspect arrested, it is extremely difficult to hold or even prosecute the individual. It has to be proven the suspect was the one using the phone when the call was made.  In order to do that, in addition to eyewitness testimony if any, voice recognition authentication must be made by specialized software that is unavailable on island.”
To date, according to our sources, no one has been arrested or prosecuted for a bomb hoax.  Police are called in to sweep the premises because it is what they are supposed to do.  No follow-ups are ever heard of in relation to the hoax.  Business is delayed and then life goes on.  Bomb threats are not even taken seriously nowadays.  That is evident by people liming around the compound of the compromised area as well as the expressed annoyances at having schedules reshuffled.
In this technological age, police must be equipped to deal with the modern criminal.  Automated fingerprint databases, voice recognition software and secure wireless communication should be the order of the day.   Unfortunately, if the police don’t even have sufficient basic necessities, how can we keep expecting them to rise to the occasion?

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