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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is puzzled by reports that indicate crime is on the increase.
Chastanet said he is aware that the number of homicides have increased — to a “record” 54 — but not crime in general.
At the Nov. 24, 2017 crime symposium, the police reported an increase in most major crime categories and a 10 percent increase in reported crimes from January to September — compared to the same period in 2016.
“I want to respond to that because I know that the number of homicides are up and that’s a record number, and it’s very, very disturbing. But I don’t know where this report came from that crime was up,” Chastanet said as he responded to a reporter’s question at the Dec. 4 pre-Cabinet press briefing
However, the prime minister said that his government has a solution for the homicide problem but noted that the solution won’t happen overnight.
“The reports that I’ve seen certainly have indicated that all the levels of crime are down. But that’s not to satisfy us. And certainly I am not banking on that to justify the level of homicide[s]…but I continue to say, my administration continues to say, that we do have a solution for the homicide problem. We came into government promising that we have a solution but unfortunately, that solution is not something that’s gonna happen overnight.”
He pointed out some of the achievements by his government since they took office just over a year ago.
“When we came into office, there was no coast guard, there was no marine police units working. Zero. Hopefully, we understand what that means. There was no surveillance The two radar systems were not working. The forensic lab was closed. There was no DPP. And …the DPP’s office was diminished, depleted in personnel and in resources.”
“In one year and a half with Leahy Law still imposed upon us, we have gotten seven coast guard boats up and running. I am happy to see the Defender is going back out as well. We have the DPP. We have hired new lawyers. We’ve given them new equipment… We have the forensics lab not working fully but on some basic stuff. We’re now addressing the court system.”
Chastanet also disclosed that a $34-million new Hall of Justice will be built under his government.