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Felicia Browne: “Brutality of shootings raises serious concerns about effectiveness of crime-related policies”

By Felicia Browne

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Newly weds Asher ‘BJ’ Emmanuel, 48, and Cheryl Clarke. Both were killed in Castries 11 weeks apart – Emmanuel on April 7, 2015 and Clarke on June 26, 2015. They married just over a year ago.

Gun violence is a local, regional and international problem. Gun violence and gun-related crimes create serious developmental challenges in high-risk communities, including developed countries. Although many Caribbean countries have enacted laws to curb the levels of gun violence, rates of gun-related violence continue to rise. The lack of crime prevention programs and interventions have left the most vulnerable -women, children and young men – at high risk for violent crimes.

Felicia Browne, who is a human rights and peace ambassador for the region voices the urgent need for new initiatives:

“When women and youth are fatally shot with such brutality, it raises serious concerns about the effectiveness of our crime-related policies. No citizen can feel safe within areas which are ridden with crime and other gang-related activities. Gun-related crimes have been perpetrated for years in our nation’s capital, yet minimal efforts have been made to address this problem which impact schools, businesses and community institutions, not just high-risk neighbourhoods and groups.

Felicia Browne.

“Having greater police presence on known violent street corners is only a small part of the solution, and can actually aggravate the problem if police are not properly trained and physiologically stable. It is therefore critical that communities are active participants in the development and implementation of new gun-control policies and programs. Citizens must be given an opportunity to address the issues that most affect them. We need to interview and bring into the process our youth and their families, specifically the ones who fear daily for the lives due to gun violence within their communities.

“On April 2, 2013 St. Lucia signed the landmark United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which regulates international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. This treaty will foster peace and security by putting a stop to destabilising arms flows to conflict regions. However, It is of grave concern that many countries including St. Lucia have not signed the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development.

“This initiative provides technical assistance to member states to manage gun control and violence and helps prevent human rights abusers and violators of the law of war from being supplied with arms. it will will also help keep warlords, pirates, and gangs from acquiring these deadly tools. These types of international initiatives can become instrumental in setting effective policies for gun violence and gun control within our small nations.

“St Lucia and other regional states should sign on to all of these, as they can resources and personnel currently not available through existing programs. Gun violence is a serious harm against human life and freedom. We should do everything in our power to ensure that such the lives of our citizens are protected.”

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

14 comments

  1. Maybe if grown ups don't initiate and encourage theses young guys to do do wrongand harm, shit like that wouldn't come back to bite them in the ass. I'm not hearing anyone talking about that. What she use to do.
    Our country is so bias.

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  2. Live by the gun die by the gun words of god

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  3. whose gonna fight again wen they have attack n killed my friends whose gonna fight again when theres no where to run whose gonna fight again!

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  4. Hang them high or put them in the market square and stone them to death.

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  5. As a St.Lucian it hurts me to see what is passing for political rulership in my country.All politicians talk about is tourism,and construction limiting the options for young ppl.There are no major programmes in place for developing sports, arts,entertainment or information tech based industries which in the global market are the areas we can exploit with minimal capital investment.These greedy politicians in their lazy asses just spewing alot of nonsensical political jargon while our country goin down the drain.Mr. and Mrs. Politician I know you dont see the training and developing of our young ppl as a priority in your warped shitty limited view of progress but pleeez for the survival of St.Lucia could u explore some of these oprional avenues u might find theres a little light at the end of that dumbassed tunnel you and your predecessors have built and keep refurbishing

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  6. 3 yes to 7 no for hanging......why??? i fail to see why such brutal animals that can point a gun at another human and fire at them till they run out of bullets should walk this earth i certainly don't want them breathing my same air and i don't want to pay taxes to keep them fed clothed and sheltered.

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  7. I CANNOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE, MISS BROWNE

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  8. That's just simply it. We have no crime policies. crime is tackled knees jerk and ad hoc. look so long we have an anti gang bill. The authorities say so much crime is being committed by gangs. Yet to date not one person charged under the anti gang legislation which suppose to ahve teeth to put a dent into crime

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  9. Who is this woman. Why is it only when women get killed we hear these hypocrites. Why don't they come forward when gun violence is down. This is when the problem should be tackled, when they can bring all parties around the peace table.

    It it true that we have no crime related polices. What a shame. This is one of the responsibilities of the sad to say useless home affairs minister. After almost four years in office he nor his government cannot tell the nation what their policy on crime is. Every time a a shooting occurs he runs to the police asking for officers on the affected streets. This is not a policy moron!!! this is reacting to a problem. Both the police and their robotic minister seem clueless as to the way forward, while our youth, our nation's future are gunned down ever so often.

    I know that we can't fight this problem alone. Enactment of laws alone will not solve our problems nor will fair weather human rights activists with all their too late ideas solve our problems. We need a government which is committed to putting an end to this gun related problem. The youth need jobs jobs jobs. We need foreign investment urgently. And not for a minute am I suggesting Lambirds sort of investments.

    Sad to say the U.S. Is no longer investing in the Caribbean. They have strategically moved all their help to so called problem countries. No more Cold War so we en important. It looks like you must have ISIS or ISIL to win the U.S. Support and assistance. For not we apparently don't and for this reason we don't qualify for assistance. All we qualify for is pressure and more pressure from them. This sort of pressure will no doubt affect us since that's their aim, lead to fewer investments, fewer jobs, unemployed youth, increased gun violence, being labelled a failing state by the very U.S. And then may be ISIL or ISIS. Oh at this time we will become important and receive millions but to what end. The

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    • The Us only interest in Caribbean is the Drugs,don't let no one fool you..they made researches and found out most of the Caribbean islands make loads of money off of drugs like St.Vincent(once rated the worlds largest marijuana supplying nation by Natgeo.)Us like people to solely depend on them so they can pul their strings like a puppet..

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  10. Well... the $$$ for "after school programs" is cut every year.
    Idel hands is the Devil's workshop.

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  11. Can we stop the guns from their source ? No convention will stop them from coming to our shores. Money causes humans to overlook evil. Now we will be bombarded with guys and even forced to accept their abnormal behaviors.

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  12. This is just too sad! I did not know her personally, but my heart aches as she did not deserve that. We cannot and should not and never judge her. May she rest in eternal peace!

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  13. It's high Time they start hanging back in St Lucia

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