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House of Assembly Passes National Crime Commission Bill

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Efforts towards monitoring the levels of crime on the island while offering advice to the police and by extension government, was taken one step further Tuesday, November 12, 2002 when the St. Lucia House of Assembly passed the National Crime Commission Bill. In piloting the bill, Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony called for the country as a whole, to take a giant step forward in de-politicizing the fight against crime and for members of the public to work hand in hand with law enforcement.

Dr. Anthony indicated that the overall reform process underway within the Royal St. Lucia Police Force was slowly beginning to bear fruit. The police he noted was achieving record levels in terms of identifying the perpetrators of crime. “I believe that the Attorney General recently indicated that some 85% of the murders committed for this year has been solved or if not the police know exactly who have committed these acts. That really is an important step although we need to await the full statically report at the end of the year to make sure that the picture is absolutely clear,” said Dr. Anthony.

The Prime Minister told the House that the concerted effort to deal with crime by means of the Commission was unprecedented on the island. The region via the CARICOM Heads of Government he noted, had introduce a special initiative to tackle the problems of crime.

The Commission, which will have broad based representation, will among other things collect via widespread public hearings and consultations, concerns and suggestions for prevention and control of crime in specific ways. It will examine specific strategies to enhance the role of the church, school, family and civil organizations in forging a national culture against crime and violence and make recommendations for appropriate action and assist the police in developing and implementing community policing programmes in collaboration with communities.

Dr. Anthony explained that the fight against crime could not be won without the police winning first public confidence. The establishment of the Crime Commission Prime Minister Anthony said was one mechanism to aid in that effort. According to him, “I believe that the police should recognized that if they are able to work very closely with these new agencies and mechanisms that they can get the kinds of strategic support that they so badly need. At the same time too, while we have statements of public outrage about the police, it is also important that the police receives constructive advice through appropriate mechanisms and this is one such facility I believe that will aid that process.”

Tuesday’s House sitting also saw the passage of the Police Complaints Bill, the Firearms Amendment Bill, the Criminal Code Amendment Bill, the Income Tax Amendment Bill, the Gaming Control Amendment Bill, the International Insurance Amendment, International Banks Amendment and International Mutual Funds Amendment Bills.


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