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Saint Lucia’s minority political party, the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), has criticized the new government for ignoring its proposal for a National Consultation on Crime, as did the previous administration.
In a strongly worded statement issued on Monday, the LPM said successive governments, both United Workers Party (UWP) and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), have refused to entertain the proposal.
The party suggested that this may be so, because of fear that the people’s direct questioning and participation may undermine “their long standing propaganda” of giving the impression that crime in Saint Lucia isn’t as bad as it may appear to be.
“There is no doubt that the escalation of crime have not only dealt a blow to the quality of community life in Saint Lucia, but is on track to ruin our economic future and the reputation of our island abroad,” the LPM stated.
The party said it’s proposal for a national consultation on crime would bring all sectors of the Saint Lucian community together to devise a comprehensive plan that would solicit the involvement of an entire nation.
But it said this proposal also seems dead under an Allen Chastanet administration.
“In our view, Mr Chastanet and the UWP talks tough but it is very evident that they will once again leave office without having done anything of great significance to make the citizens of Saint Lucia safer,” it added.
The LPM said it had predicted in 2013, that the SLP’s Anti-gang legislation would not have produced any results towards the effort of combating crime and it was right.
The party had cautioned the Kenny Anthony government, saying, “to place absolute power in the hands of the police to use scare tactics and brute force to deter young people from criminal activities may work in the short term but will prove very costly for Saint Lucia in the long run.”
The LPM had cited the experience of a number of countries, particularly the United States, where the enactment of anti-gang legislation has only served to increase the level of criminal activity rather than to decrease it.
“Our message this morning is not about the LPM, but about you the people of Saint Lucia. How long do you intend to allow elected politicians to play games with the issue of crime, and thus resorting to artificial and non-effective measures, while on a daily basis the lawlessness in our country continue to spin out of control?”
The LPM wants the government to deal with the root causes of crime, which are poverty, the lack of opportunity for upward economic and social mobility, drugs, poor parenting skills, and an educational system which fails to teach young people of their responsibilities to our nation as Saint Lucian citizens.