Recently, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet stated: “This Government abhors crime” and he promised that firm action would be taken to make Saint Lucia safe again. Just days before another report of attempted rape, this time on the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Campus on Wednesday evening, the influx of reports of sexual crimes and burglaries had also been put into sharp perspective by the Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government Lenard Spider Montoute in a presentation to the Lower House on Tuesday, November 8. In the words of the Minister: “These horrible acts have stirred concern at the highest levels of leadership in the country.”
In keeping with the government’s thrust Minister Hermangild Francis on Tuesday this week, similarly denounced the senseless and atrocious behaviour of individuals who harm the defenseless. “This situation will not be tolerated by this Government and we will do all in our power to provide the necessary structures to deal with this issue,” he said.
To this end, the Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security introduced a new programme to the Senate titled: “School Crime Watch” – a programme endorsed by the Government and the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
The Community Relations Branch of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force will be introducing the programme to the island’s school population very soon. Mr. Francis said: “This programme will mirror the Community Watch Projects. The intention is to sensitize all students about crime. There will be advice on how to protect them from crime and to encourage them not to be afraid to report the deviant behaviour of fellow students. Reporting will be done anonymously.”
Said Minister Francis: “Children are to be cherished, protected and loved, yet some of our children are ill-treated either physically or psychologically.”
In his statement to the Senate on Tuesday, November 15, the Minister took time to outline several factors that may give rise to situations of abuse and summed them all up as “a complex interplay of many variables”.
Meantime, Saint Lucia will join countries across the globe in the observance of Universal Children’s Day on Monday, November 20, 2016.