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Two New Support Units for Police Force

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Friday, August 31, 2006 - Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Senator Calixte George, announced today that two new units are about to be established in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) to support ongoing efforts at fighting crime on the island.

The minister said a Tourism Support Unit (TSU) will be established “to monitor crimes that may be perpetrated against visitors to the island and locals involved in the tourism industry, as well as to liaise with those who may become victims of crimes”.

According to the Minister: “The intention is not only to assist in coordinating efforts to apprehend individuals who may have committed crimes against visitors or locals in the industry, but also to provide information that would lead to progress towards the arrest and prosecution of such persons.”

“This unit,” he explained further, “will work closely with the stakeholders in the tourism industry, to manage the consequences of related crimes.”

He explained that the establishment of the unit “is expected to result in increased surveillance, monitoring of criminal activity and implementation of crime prevention strategies in the major tourism areas.”

Thus, Senator George added, the concentration of the unit’s efforts will be island-wide and especially in areas with high volumes of tourism activity.

“The areas of concentration for the new unit,” Senator George said, “will include the Castries Basin, Vigie, Gros Islet and the northern tourism belt, as well as Soufriere, Marigot Bay, Mamiku Gardens and other such areas most frequented by visitors.”

Meanwhile, the minister says a new Victims Support Unit (VSU) is also about to be established “to provide various forms of support for victims of crimes in Saint Lucia.”

Senator George says the new unit will be established to provide support services for victims who may need such support, “because experience has shown that victims of crime can and sometimes do suffer immense trauma and the Force is anxious to provide comfort and counseling to such individuals.”

The Minister said the RSLPF was moving to establish the two new units because it is “determined to change the nature of policing in Saint Lucia and to continue to earn the evidently increasing support and confidence of members of the public in the fight against crime generally.”

He indicated that as part of the general thrust of improving relations between the Police and the Public, “the Police Complaints Commission (PCC) is already doing much to ensure that complaints against police officers by members of the public are investigated.”

Senator George thanked the public for their increasing cooperation with the police and urged that “the new units, when established, also be given the public support they will need to be as effective as they should be.”

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