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Commissioner promises a more aggressive fight against crime


Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - The Cabinet of Ministers on Monday met with the hierarchy of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal security, along with the Commissioner and Senior Officers of the Police Force to discuss the current crime situation and to receive an update on crime-fighting operations.

During the meeting, Acting Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and fellow Cabinet Ministers expressed their concerns about the levels of certain categories of crime, including violent crime, and urged the Police High Command to be more proactive and pre-emptive in their crime fighting efforts.

Following the meeting, Police Commissioner Ausbert Regis said the Police Force will become more aggressive in the fight against violent crime and warned that “a few feathers may be ruffled, especially among those calling for more to be done about fighting crime.”

Commissioner Regis was not specific, but indicated that the Force “will continue to take steps to maximise the use of available human and material resources.” He also indicated that the leadership of the Force “will continue to focus on ensuring renewed efforts at developing creative responses to the new challenges facing the Force at present.”

The Commissioner said that in the fight against violent crime, the Police will continue to need the cooperation and understanding of the local media. He said that while the media was normally supportive, these were times when their reports did not help the police in the crime fight.

The Commissioner referred to a recent TV report in which the Force was accused of “closing down a business.”


However, he pointed out, that was a case of the police being “legally called to remove an illegal structure that had been constructed on private land.” The station in question has since acknowledged its report was faulty.

The Commissioner said the crime fight was to be carried out at various levels and indicated that it would also be necessary to take institutional steps at the level of the judiciary “to ensure that the punishment fits the crime.”

The Commissioner also called on local business houses to take greater steps to enhance security. He said some businesses paid no attention to security, despite the fact that the Government has offered several incentives to increase security at commercial houses.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Senator Philip LaCorbiniere, who also attended the Cabinet meeting with the Police High Command, said later that the fight against crime was not an overnight issue. He indicated that “when it comes to cracking the gangs that have come on the crime scene, this will take some time.”

Chief Executive Officer of the National Crime Commission, Mr Linwall James, also commented this week on the continuing crime fight.

Speaking on the eve of a month of crime prevention activities in October to help boost the crime fight, he again clarified that while the Commission was assisting in the crime fight, it was not a crime fighting agency, but rather “an advisory body assisting in the crime fight.”

Mr James also supported the Commissioner’s encouragement to local commercial houses to invest in security measures, including electronic security, and not to continue to depend on traditional methods such as paying night watchmen.

Meanwhile, it is being increasingly understood by more and more persons that increasing levels of crime is not restricted only to St. Lucia, but rather, it is a regional and international phenomenon.

It was announced this week that the number of homicides to date stands at 31, but in the case of Trinidad & Tobago, the number had surpassed last year’s figure with last year’s figure of 259 homicides being surpassed this week, with three months to go before year’s end.


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