Some 18 recently recruited police constables will hit the streets of Saint Lucia’s capital, Castries, by year end, City Mayor Peterson Francis revealed during a press conference on Thursday.
This move comes months after the new mayor made a commitment to ensure that the Castries City Council (CCC) play its part to protect individuals and businesses from all kinds of criminal activities.
Francis said that the CCC had sent a list of the names of the 18 prospective city constables to be vetted by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, which was returned to the CCC in November.
According to him, these new recruits will add to the already 15 police constables that are attached to the CCC. However, this number is likely to increase in the new year to about 50.
The city mayor said this increase will enable these constables to conduct frequent patrols around the clock in all parts of the capital city, and allow them to respond quicker to non-violent calls.
Francis admitted that the crime situation in the city needs urgent attention.
Statistics produced by the police in January 2016, showed an increase of 18 percent in robbery offences, despite there was an overall decrease in reported crimes.
The current number of police have not kept up with the growing city, Francis said. The overall population in Castries, according to 2013 statistics, is 70,000, which is likely much higher today.