Address by Hon. Calixte George at the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Training Workshop on Inter-American Tourism & Recreational Facilities Security
Home Up [ Address by Hon. Calixte George at the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Training Workshop on Inter-American Tourism & Recreational Facilities Security ] Address by the Hon. Calixte George at the Handover Ceremony of Musical Instruments to the Royal St. Lucia Police Band by the Chinese Ambassador Statement by Hon. Senator Calixte George the formal opening of the Southern Police Headquarters Address By Honourable Calixte George At The Opening Of The 11th Annual Drug Commanders Conference Minister to IICA SAQS Workshop - November 6, 2002 Signing Of The Financing Agreement between Commission of European Communities and St. Lucia - November 5, 2002









Monday September 25, 2006
At the Bay Gardens Hotel



Thank you, Madam Chairperson

  • Honourable Minister for Tourism

  • Other Ministers of Cabinet

  • Ms. Hayda Walker, Representative of the OAS and CICTE

  • Mr. Paul Spencer, Director of the Resident Office of the OAS

  • Your Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps

  • Distinguished ladies and gentlemen

I am very pleased to address you on this very important occasion which has brought together both private and public sector officials from the Tourism and Security sectors from the Bahamas in the North to Trinidad and Tobago in the South, and with several other Countries in between; to establish strategic alliances, exchange ideas and acquire new skills and competencies, to provide more effective Security in the Tourism and Recreational Services Sector. These Sectors have fast been providing a livelihood to thousands of citizens in our respective countries, whether in the banking and insurance sectors, or in Government, the hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, vendors or whatever else.

The provision of Security Services is to ensure the protection and safety of our citizens and visitors alike and their properties.  Deviant behaviour, crime and violence also creates a higher demand for security services.
It is important to stress however, that crime must be addressed within a long-term development plan with significant emphasis on social development.

Equally important too, is the need for a set of continuous strategic responsive action over the long term.
The same is true whether you are in Australia, the UK, the United States or St. Lucia.

Mistakes are easy to find in hindsight, but the task to remedy the upsurge in crime worldwide, which has created this overwhelming demand for security services must of necessity be tackled within a framework of critical examination, analysis and timely responsive action with an appreciable high level of precision.  One may ask - How much should a Police Officer being requested to investigate a crime rely on the hunches or intuition of citizens? Crime is complex and requires an equally comprehensive response and comprehensive strategic action in all areas. Short and medium term measures will of course provide quick immediate impact; but will not be the solution.

At its twelfth Session on July 22, 2003 the economic and Social Council of the United Nations adopted resolution E/RES/ 2003/21 entitled “Prevention of Urban Crime”. In its resolution, the Council recalled the element of responsible Crime Prevention and noted the scope for significant reductions in Crime through

Knowledge-based approaches, and of the contribution that effective crime prevention can make in terms of the safety and security of individuals and their property as well as the quality of life in communities around the world.

Given the importance of the Tourism Industry to our economies, and the heavy reliance of the incomes of our citizens on this sector in the Caribbean generally; and I will address the situation in St. Lucia more specifically, it is important that we safeguard and protect not only our citizens from unlawful behaviour, but equally important is the protection of all our visitors who we host in our countries every day.

In Saint Lucia, as economic activity intensified last year, with the St. Lucian economy registering real GDP growth of 5.4%, it is important to note that this growth was driven by the performance of the hotels and restaurants sector, among a few others.

The Tourism sector continued again last year along its path of steady growth, despite the emergence of several factors which posed a threat to prospects for that sector. These factors included continued threats of terrorism in our major tourist markets.

Tourism accounted for 13.6% of real GDP last year, retaining its position as the principal engine of economic growth in Saint Lucia.  I have highlighted these facts ladies and gentlemen, to illustrate the importance of that sector to small economies like ours, and St. Lucia is no exception.

It is therefore imperative, that every effort is made to prevent crime in the Tourism Industry and in our countries generally. Whilst crime against our visitors may be unfortunately perpetuated by a few of our own people, we are also increasingly becoming aware of crimes being organized and committed by some visitors against other visitors.

In the case of Saint Lucia, we as a Government have carefully examined areas in which we can make the fastest impact, with substantive outcomes in the fight against crime in the short term; whilst social development over the long term is being tackled.


In the prevention of crimes against our visitors and residents alike, some of the more profound action we have already undertaken in the short-term to deter and minimize transborder international crimes, and in particular white collar and other organized crime, and other serious crimes include-


  • The introduction of a Passenger Tracking and Watch List system, which will provide the capability for our Enforcement Agencies — Police, Customs, Air and Sea Ports Authorities to monitor and facilitate active surveillance of undesirables entering this country.

  • We have also recently completed extensive work in preparation for the introduction of our new machine readable passports and the corresponding System to cover this particular process. Both of those new systems are backed up by State-Of-the Art technological engineering.

The processes for the new Passenger Tracking and Watch list System and the Machine Readable Processing System were developed within the framework of the standards prescribed by the International Community and in particular the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO).


  • As I speak, work is currently in progress for the introduction of a State-Of-the-Art Automated Fingerprinting System, referred to as the (AFIS) which will not only complement the work of the Criminal Investigation Department; but also the enforcement activities at the borders, which will from time to time require fast track fingerprinting processes.

  • Shortly after my appointment as Minister for Home Affairs and Internal Security in January 2004, I held a number of consultations with key stakeholders which included the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, the Ministry of Tourism and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.

  • This consultation proved to be a particularly valuable exercise and I am pleased to announce that two new Units, the Tourism Related Crime Unit the (TRCU) and the Victim Support Unit (VSU) are being established before the end of this year, within the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to reinforce the work of the Police on the prevention, abatement and detection of crime against our visitors, as well as our own citizens.  Both of these Units will undoubtedly enhance and strengthen communication between the Police and the Tourism and Hotel sector, and facilitate in a more profound and effective manner, the joint collaborative initiatives which will be undertaken by the Hotel and Tourism sector and the Police.

  • As part of Government’s strategic approach to crime fighting in the areas of prevention, abatement and detection; a deliberate policy of a yearly recruitment of Police Officers, have been effected over the past nine years, to immediately provide replacement for Police Officers who may have resigned, retired or may have been dismissed. Over this nine year period, a total of approximately (500) new Police Officers have been recruited. Only last month, (65) new Police Recruits graduated from the Police Training Academy and (65) more new Recruits commenced their six month Training Recruitment Program on the 4th of this month.

  • Of great significance also, it is important to note that one of the components of our Preventive Crime Strategy included a complete overhaul of the Police Recruitment and Selection Processes.

    In essence, no longer can persons wishing to be recruited or enlisted to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, qualify base on who they know.

  • You will appreciate, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, that the business of Security as it relates to the functions of the State, and Government’s responsibility to its citizens and visitors alike, must be a serious and non-subjective business.
    Therefore, the protection of the lives of our citizens and our visitors, and their property must be conducted by persons of the highest level of integrity.

  • I insist, that the security and protection of our respective States, their citizens and visitors, must never be placed in the hands of those who are easily lured into temptation for a fast buck, and at the peril of our people and our nations. We as Caribbean people must not allow this behavior to become a norm in our Societies.

  • For Saint Lucia’s part, I have taken a new approach over the past two years to include in the recruitment of Police Officers, the advertisement in all leading newspapers in the Country; of the pictures and names of the applicants who qualified for Recruitment Training and for appointment in the Police Force, so that persons in the respective communities in which these applicants live, can provide valuable feedback to us about the quality of their character. I must tell you that from our experience we do not only receive negative feedback, but we also receive positive feedback about our prospective Recruits.

  • Among many other criteria, the modality used in the Selection Centre Process is based on the recommendations of a UK - based Police Consultant Report; and provides for a fundamental level of analysis of the prospective applicant’s character, his/her ability to interact with other people, their ability to apply sound judgement and initiative, and leadership capacity; among others.

You will agree, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, that the business of State security and the protection of our citizens and visitors alike, is not to be dealt with by individuals with questionable character. In this new Recruitment Regime the individuals we recruit to the Police Force must have, above all, an impeccable character, and my Ministry places great emphasis on this. It is no longer about muscle and brawn. Intelligence and a sound character are absolute and necessary requisites, among others.


  • In other words, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the quality of your ingredients from the outset will determine the quality and soundness of your Final Product.

  • Prior to 2004, the year I was appointed to the portfolio of Home Affairs and Internal Security, a policy existed in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, where no more than (10%) of the Force should comprise of women, regardless of the number of women applicants which were received, and not withstanding their performance on examinations and other proficiency tests undertaken, during the Selection Process.

  • So that you may have had for example a (female) applicant who achieved an overall Grade Point Average of say, 3.75 out of a possible 4.0 and a (male) applicant with a GPA of (2005) who obtained a GPA of (2.5). The (male) applicant would have been recruited ahead of the (female) with the GPA of (3.75).

  • Suffice it to say distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I directed that with immediate effect, that policy be revoked, and since that time, our female recruits have more than doubled over the past two years, compared to previous years.

  • You see ladies and gentlemen, in societies like ours where women are predominantly the heads of households, raising children on their own, and in several instances also, women make up a larger percentage of our respective populations; then it is obvious that our women must play their part in reaching out to our communities in the fight against crime particularly at the prevention levels.

  • We see from empirical evidence that our juvenile delinquents and young offenders, are generally the result of broken homes, and the abandonment of these homes by the fathers. Our (women) Police officers are therefore expected to make a significant impact as Enforcement Officers; in communities experiencing these phenomena, which very often, leads to frustrated, angry and violent young people.

  • What I mean here, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, all hands must be on deck.

  • We must move away from the narrow precincts of prevention strategies in the fight against crime. There must be thorough examination and analysis of all issues and militating factors; with strategic responses on all fronts and at all levels.

  • During my consultations with the Hotel and Tourism sector, among others, our Commissioner of Police, offered at no cost the conduct of security audits for all hotels islandwide, to determine areas of weaknesses requiring corrective action; among several other important areas discussed.

  • Another key area in which work has long been completed, is the preparation and drafting of a Private Security Bill, which seeks to licence, regulate and supervise the quality of personnel and services offered by Private Security Business Firms.

The practise of recruiting as a Security Officer, a person of undesirable character, or someone much too old to be employed elsewhere must be a thing of the past. The Committee which I established last year, to prepare the draft Bill, also included representatives of the St. Lucia Private Security Association. The criteria for persons desiring to provide the relevant types of security services, must be met to qualify for the appropriate licence.



  • The handling of Crime in the Tourism Industry; as I mentioned earlier, will receive a significant level of support with the establishment of the two new units currently in process. These are is the Tourism Related Crime Unit (TRCU) and the Victim Support Unit (VSU); these two Units will provide the mechanism through which appropriate.  Systems and Processes will be utilized by both the Police Authorities and the Hotel and Tourism sector to handle crime perpetrated against the sector in a more sensitive and responsible manner.



  • In the area of security at major sporting events such as the unprecedented hosting of Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean, of which Saint Lucia is an active participant, you would appreciate that whilst I cannot discuss details or specific particulars of Saint Lucia’s National Security Plan already developed and submitted to the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) of CARICOM I can tell you however, that continuous risk assessments are being undertaken, and the National Security Committee which I have established to coordinate and deal with, among other things, issues requiring action and my attention and indeed, Cabinet’s attention is moving in full gear.

    My Ministry, along with Senior Police Officials in particular, have just last month, met with senior officials of the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) of CARICOM to scrutinize the several elements and parameters of our National Security Plan to ensure that all required international standards prescribed are met.

  • In addition to the annual recruitment of new police officers which I spoke about earlier, an additional (150) new Special Police Constables are shortly to commence recruitment training on October 22, this year to provide support to our regular police officers, during Cricket World Cup 2007 to be held here in March next year.

  • I should also mention that an entire new look is being given to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force in terms of: -

    • Its Structure,

    • Its Systems, which will include its Personnel, Human Resource Development, Training and Promotions Functions,

    • Its processes and related Protocols, its Standard Operating Procedures and Functional Operations, across all Police Stations and Operating Units islandwide, as well as significantly improving the working conditions of our Police Officers.

    • This process is currently on-going and the Police Officers themselves, across all ranks are anxious for this new ethos; after decades of outright neglect, disrespect and a practice of indignity towards Police Officers.

  • A complement of (10) British Police Officers (not retirees) but Officers currently on active duty, have recently been selected out of a total of (40) applicants, to work alongside our Police Officers at all levels, to provide much needed enhancement, strengthening and positive impact on our communities in the fight against crime.

  • These (10) officers will be required to provide (hands-on-operational) policing functions and duties whilst at the same time; transfer much valuable technical skills and competencies working side by side with our Police Officers. The competencies of the (10) British police officers are impressive and include among several others:

o Crime Prosecution and Reduction
o Intelligence Analysis
o Drug Interdiction
o Money Laundering
o Terrorism

  • I should also mention that our resident British High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Kelvin Green, is a member of the Sector Committee on Security, for Cricket World Cup.

    There are a myriad of major action plans currently being implemented in the fight against crime and the provision of Security, but in the interest of time,

    I have sought to present to you, a summary, of key initiatives, so that you can have an appreciation of where we are going on the area of Security, Crime Prevention, Abatement and Detection both in terms of the protection of our own citizens and visitors and their properties.

    In closing, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish again to emphasize, that given the level of new investment capital injected into the Tourism and Hotel Sector over the past (9) years in particular, the contribution of the sector to the Gross Domestic Product of our Country, and its upliftment of the livelihoods and standards of living of our people; and notwithstanding our financial and other constraints, we are determined and will as a Government, implement, initiate and effect everything within our powers to ensure that Saint Lucia remains safe and sound.


  • I wish also to take this opportunity to thank most sincerely the organization of American States, our own Ambassador to the OAS, Her Excellency Ms. Sonia Johnny, Ms. Hayda Walker, the Representative of OAS CICTE, present here with us this morning, the Resident Executive Director of the OAS here in Saint Lucia, Mr. Paul Spencer and the Ministry of Tourism for their dynamic role in facilitating this timely and particularly valuable workshop, and our specially invited guests who are here with us.

I wish to extend my own personal welcome to the officials who will be attending this workshop over the next few days, especially those who have traveled from overseas.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your kind attention.

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