Founder of non-governmental organisation Speak Out Saint Lucia (SOS), Norbert Williams, has said the proposed sex offender registry can only be effective if all the support agencies and individuals are efficient.
While lauding the government for supporting the establishment of the registry, Williams said the justice system and the citizenry must provide effective support.
“In making a sex offender [registry] effective there has to be other aspects of the legal system in St. Lucia which has to work,” Williams told MBC.
“The justice system, the police have to operate properly, the citizens themselves have to cooperate with the police, the forensics laboratory has to operate functionally in a manner where it can render the services that it was designed for,” he added.
While many persons have expressed satisfaction with the news of the registry, others believe that such a move will make it hard for offenders to readjust back into the community as it relates to accommodation and employment.
In his comments however, the SOS founder said: “If a person does not want to be on the sex offenders’ registry then you do not rape little children. You do not rape. And the consequences of their actions will have to be borne by them once they’re apprehended.”
Williams said he believes the government is moving in the right direction.
“In my discussions with the members of Cabinet and with the prime minister himself, I have every confidence that we’re moving forward in the right direction to make these things work, and we have to realise that the situation of crime in St. Lucia did not happen overnight, therefore, the fixes or the solutions to this problem are not going to be overnight as well. But like I said, I have every confidence that the prime minister and his Cabinet are moving in the right direction and we look forward to see the implementation of the sex offender registry,” Williams said.
In a press release submitted earlier this week, Williams’ organisation noted that the Prime Minister of Grenada Keith Mitchell announced on Nov. 30, 2017 that his government will also implement a sex offender registry.