Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said gun-related violence is threatening the lives of Saint Lucians and proffers eleven steps to combat the crime problem, while uncharacteristically inviting citizens to send him proposals on how to address the crime issue.
The former Prime Minister wrote on his official Facebook page that “easy access to firearms, especially those that are illegal, is one of the main drivers of gun violence.”
Chastanet added, “given the high levels of gun violence Saint Lucia has been experiencing, there are some initiatives the UWP believes would help reduce the scourge.”
He proffered the following: improve the ability of customs, the marine and immigration police in the detection and recovery of firearms at our ports of entry; seize firearms, drugs and cash associated with criminality; recover assets from ‘proceeds of crime’ initiatives; computerized fingerprints; improve ballistics capabilities and DNA-testing; install 700 new CCTV cameras at 200 locations island-wide; construct a new Police Headquarters; improve investigations, prosecution and dispensation of criminal justice; ensure adequate resources are deployed to the police; introduce new laws for a national fingerprint database; a DNA Act and Plea Bargain legislation and integrate the Police Crime Unit and the Forensic Science Lab.
Suggesting that there was still more to add to his laundry list of solutions, Chastanet ended his post inviting citizens to send even more proposals to him, asking: “Do you have any other recommendations to stop the flow of illegal guns in our communities?”
If the experience of the results of a 2017 National Crime Symposium, held when Allen Chastanet was prime minister, then the invitation to citizens to offer crime fighting solutions appear to be nothing more than political rhetoric.