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PM and Baroness Discuss Saint Lucia-UK Security Cooperation

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - Just one week after the Governor General disclosed new security initiatives in her annual Throne Speech, Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony discussed Law and Order issues with a top representative of the British Government.

Baroness Patricia Scotland, Minister of State for Criminal Justice at the British Home Office, last Tuesday (May 2) called on Dr Anthony at the Office of the Prime Minister for discussions on issues of mutual security interests to Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom. She also called on Attorney General Philip La Corbiniere.

Baroness Scotland, accompanied by British High Commissioner Duncan Taylor and Resident British Commissioner to Saint Lucia Kelvin Green, came here following the April 26-28 UK/Caribbean Ministerial Forum in Barbados.

She discussed with the Prime Minister, among other things, a range of issues related to matters of Security, Justice, Law and Order, where the UK and Saint Lucia share a number of common problems and concerns.

In particular, she highlighted the work being done in the UK to reform the Criminal Justice System, where a National Criminal Justice Board has ensured a more united and concerted approach to addressing problems in the system.

The Prime Minister and the Baroness also discussed methods to deal with domestic violence.

The meeting came a week after Her Excellency the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Dame Pearlette Louisy, disclosed in Her Throne Speech to a Joint Session of the Saint Lucia Parliament that the Government is seeking British support for local Law and Order efforts.

Dame Pearlette explained that in view of the security requirements for Cricket World Cup 2007 and the rising levels of violent crime, Government had approached the UK Government to assist with recruiting seven highly experienced former British police officers, on a two-year contractual basis, to serve in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.

These officers, the Governor General said, “will be essential elements of the Government’s strategy to build capacity and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Force.”

The recruited British officers, Dame Pearlette explained, “will help enhance local intelligence capacity, develop a research and development capability, improve public relations and relations with the community, introduce better management systems and processes, make better use of management information and provide more effective and comprehensive training.”

“Equally important,” she added, “they will assist the Government in its police reform agenda, which will include an anti-corruption programme.”

She said “new and additional posts will be created” to accommodate these officers.

Based on discussions with the UK Government, Dame Pearlette said, the recruited officers will be assigned responsibilities in Crime and Intelligence, Management of Professional Standards (including Anti-Corruption), Crime Analysis and Crime Management, Research and Development, Investigations and Community Policing.

Saint Lucia is the third country in the region, after Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, to make use of the expertise of British police officers within the national police force.

The initiative has been welcomed by the business and tourism industry in Saint Lucia.

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