Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police for Territorial Policing Crusita Pelius will head the Victims Support Unit of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) which will provide support for victims of sexual assault.
Pelius disclosed that the unit is being formed based on a report that was submitted from a forensic scientist, who worked along with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU).
“It is essentially to provide support to sexual assault victims from the time the incident takes place, until it goes through the legal process and finally to the courts,” the ACP explained.
Pelius said the police force has already identified persons they wish to have employed within this unit, which will include individuals from the Human Services Department and the Vulnerable Persons Unit.
“But we have not officially gotten off the ground. We are in the process of having various meetings and when we are satisfied that we are ready to move on, we will indicate that by informing the press,” she explained.
The acting assistant commissioner of police said nevertheless she is looking to have the unit fully operational by the end of this year, during which time there will also be a large sensitization campaign.
The Third Quarter Crime Statistics Report 2015 revealed that sexual offences recorded an increased number of accepted cases, with the number of rape cases being increased by 11.
Between the periods of January to September 2015, there were 194 accepted sexual offenses. There were also 102 detected sexual offense cases for this same period.