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Government heightens vigilant measures to making Saint Lucia safer

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Thursday, March 06, 2003 - The government of Saint Lucia is heightening measures to deal with residents and nationals of selected Middle Eastern countries with a high propensity for terrorist activity.

Addressing the nation Thursday night, Prime Minister, Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony says some surveillance strategies are already in effect. Dr. Anthony explained that approximately EC$2 million has been spent on purchasing and installing security equipment for the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority. These include hand-held and walk-through metal detectors, X-ray screening machines for both carry-on and checked baggage and security patrol vehicles for both air and sea

“The implementation of a passenger tracking and watch list system and ID badging and tracking systems; the purchase and installation of communication and video surveillance equipment at the air and sea ports; the purchase and installation of electronic equipment for the detection of explosives; the strengthening of institutional capacity for delivery and maintenance of a secure environment at our ports, through the training of all levels and categories of personnel and the review and upgrade of operational systems; the physical upgrading of facilities including airport terminal buildings, fencing, barricades and internal perimeters roadways,” said the Prime Minister.

The country’s leader also indicated that a full passport controls are to be instituted at all the island’s air and sea ports from March 17, 2003 and will be applicable to all persons departing from Saint Lucia. Incoming Saint Lucians will not be required to submit immigration forms upon arrival.

With regards to visas, Dr. Anthony said tighter controls will be instituted in relation to the processing of applications for visas for travel to Saint Lucia. This would involve more thorough screening and investigation of applicants and would be applicable particularly to persons originating from countries with a high propensity for terrorist activity.

The government Dr. Anthony said “is in the process of reviewing its bilateral arrangements with a number of countries whose nationals do not require visas to enter Saint Lucia. Replacement documents – applications for replacement passports will be more thoroughly investigated and this would necessarily involve an increased fee and a lengthening of the processing time for such applications. It is expected that this should exert sufficient pressure on persons to be more careful in the handling of passports entrusted to them by the state.”

Dr. Anthony says these new measures are in an effort to make the lives of all safer and more secure.

Read full text of Prime Minister's Address

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