The Community Relations Branch (CRB) of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) on Wednesday displayed a cache of weapons and several packages of drugs confiscated by the police from students in the Castries basin.
Most of the items seized were mainly from secondary school students in Educational Districts 1 to 4, and the seizures were as a result of random school searches conducted by the department in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Corporal Ted King told the media that some were recovered during altercations between students, which occurred on the school premises and on the streets in and around Castries.
The weaponry included a total of 47 knives, with one knife measuring 12 inches; three knives measuring 7 and a half inches; two measuring 7 inches, and two knives measuring 6 and a half inches, respectively. Five cutlasses, 46 scissors, 9 screw drivers and 14 lighters are also among some of the list of items.
Meanwhile, the illegal drugs seized are as follows: 16 marijuana sticks, 9 (10-bag portions), 13 (five-bag portions), 104 marijuana foil wraps, which amounted to five pounds of marijuana. There was also three foil wraps containing crack cocaine found in students’ possession.
King said the number of students found in possession of illegal drugs, particularly cannabis, is alarming, and in some cases included form one students. The offenders and victims, he said, are getting younger and younger at an alarming rate, which is a cause for concern for the RSLPF, and should be of concern to the general public.
“The display witnessed here today is no child’s play, it is indeed a reflection of what some of our young people get themselves involved in. The following are all criminal offences: from possession of dangerous weapons, possession of illegal drugs, possession of stolen electronic devices.”
The CRB official said too that his department will continue its proactive approach in educating youth through school presentations, random school searches and interventions.
“The need for crime prevention programmes are of paramount importance to the RSLPF. As a result, the department will soon launch its crime prevention programme dubbed “School Crime Watch” (SCW) in Educational District 5.
King said in 2017, the Force is sending out a strong message to students and young people that no situation is resolved through violence, and that the effects of violence can be devastating to individual students, specific learning environments and even more devastating to society.
“The department, and by extension the RSLFP, will live no stone unturned, by pursuing individuals who introduce our students in the sale and use of illegal drugs or other acts of criminality,” he asserted.
While no one was prosecuted for any of the offenses during the operation between 2015-2016, the police corporal told the media that the CRB will in 2017, engage with the appropriate departments within the Force and the relevant government institutions, in order for individuals to be prosecuted.
“Let me encourage parents to play their part in ensuring that their child or children are brought up on the right path. It’s your responsibility to do so…” he added.