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Contact: Janelle Charles

Dr. Kenny D. Anthony
Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia

Friday, February 08, 2002 - Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony is endorsing strategies being mapped out by the National Crime Commission to curb incidents of crime.

Consultant to the Commission Professor Ramesh Deosaran recently indicated that the National Crime Commission plans to develop social contracts with communities in an effort to reduce the rate of crime in St. Lucia. It is a move which will empower communities to help the Police.

Prime Minister Anthony told reporters at a news conference last Friday that community involvement is an essential component in fighting crime. “There is a huge breakdown of responsibility in this country, and maintaining the law is not the sole responsibility of the police” the Prime Minister observed, adding, “It is also the responsibility for the entire community.”

“But I will say this too, there are too many persons in this country including the media who find themselves in positions where they sympathise with criminals. We have a habit that we feel that what we need to do is to somehow is to “big-up” the criminals and allow them to assume an importance in the country which they really should not have,” Dr. Anthony said.

He qualified his statement by saying that in no way was he suggesting the police is beyond blame. “There are occasion where the police must face squarely that their whole approach to dealing with the crime problem is certainly not the best approach. It is well known they too commit errors. But that does not mean when those errors do occur that we ignore the very fundamentals that should govern our society. And too often in this country you see instances where we openly demonstrate sympathy for criminals. Understandably there is a lot of fear, and I am concerned about the fear, but at the same time we must be careful how we treat criminals and my own view is that we sometimes lose sight of the pain that victims suffer,” Prime Minister Anthony said.

During the Press Conference the Prime Minister also discussed CARICOM’s intervention to solve numerous protracted political crises in the region, describing CARICOM’s engagement in Guyana as a success, which restored calm to that country. CARICOM’s and OECS’ intervention in the transitory process in St. Vincent and the Grenadines he adds also worked out well.

However, the Prime Minister called for caution in attempts to resolve the political situation in Trinidad and Tobago, adding that every country has to have the capacity to resolve its own problems.

“There is the danger that we are exaggerating what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago… there are going to be occasions when the democratic traditions will throw-up unusual situations and we must not panic. Every country has to have a capacity to resolve its own problems. CARICOM too, I think, has to be very careful that it does not become engaged in every single situation that arises. I am not saying that any of the engagements so far have been improper,” Anthony said.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the Press about his recent trips abroad. They included the recently concluded OECS Heads of Government Conference in Anguilla and a CARICOM Intersessional meeting in Belize. The Prime Minister also travelled to the United Kingdom to meet with a group of investors.


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