“It is really bad” – Mayor comments on flare-up of violence in the city

By SNO Staff

Mayor, Peterson Francis

(SNO) – Responding to the recent flare-up of violence in the city, Mayor of Castries Peterson Francis has said the City Police will increase patrols, but he is concerned that many people are lacking conflict resolution skills.

Castries has stolen the crime spotlight over the past week. A woman was stabbed in the eye by a man last Friday, social media was abuzz with viral videos showing two separate street brawls involving about seven females, at least five persons – one killed – in a mass shooting on Tuesday, and two non-fatal shootings were reported last evening and this morning.

Francis has described the situation as “really bad” but said the City Police is resolute in stamping out these acts of violence.

But what’s the cause of this violence?

“Things not looking right. We have youngsters — especially when you do that in the middle of the city, you have all the schools around — [who] are coming out of the school, sometimes after school, and they are seeing how these grown-ups are reacting and doing and they believe it’s alright. So therefore, you might find these things permeating down to the schools right now, because they believe that a little boy just push them and they start fighting. It is really bad, and I think that we will patrol the streets even more to make sure that we could stamp out these acts of violence,” Francis told HTS.

He added: “I don’t know what is happening. I think we must also look at the situation where you find that the number of rum shops that we have in this place. The other thing …. I more believe probably people have more money in their pocket now, and these young ladies… they cannot find something to do and maybe the guys, we guys supporting them and they have too much on their hands. And what they are fighting for, is for nothing… I mean there is no reason for that….Right now you cannot touch somebody, you cannot make a comment and this is how all the fights were started. But the City Police, we are here and we going to make sure we have this thing under control.”

The City Police was launched in December 2016, about five months after Francis was appointed mayor. But while Francis believes the police has a part to play in fighting crime, their job gets harder when people are not able to settle petty differences without getting relatives and friends involved, which normally escalates the situation.

“When these things start like that, then the gangs come up, because you will have friends and relatives, and so on…. What is happening is that you find other people will get involved in it, and that’s where I believe the violence will escalate and… we have to watch it very, very carefully,” he told HTS.

The major pointed out that it appears that crime is more prevalent in the city.

“I don’t know what has happened to society, especially in the Castries…. If you look at the rural district, that is not prevalent as it is in the city. I mean look at Laborie, look at Soufriere…. I mean you will get little conflict there. You will get something happening there, but is not as prevalent as we have it in Castries. So I am very, very much concerned and people must now understand, they must resolve their problem. People must, and especially the by-standers,and they have people who encouraging them, who on that side, who on that side, but we must be able to find a way. I don’t know if we have to ask for more preachers, I don’t know if we have to have more people on the road preaching, but we have to have this conflict resolution where you find that people at least, you know, we have a disagreement, we shake hands and sometimes we heated. Let’s have a drink and let’s move on. “

(3)(3)
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21 comments

  1. Hi I’m about to visit St Lucia and specifically Castries on business for the first time - a little concerned after reading everyone’s comments! Not sure I’m going to feel that safe.
    I hope that is not the case though.

    (0)(0)
  2. Hi I’m about to visit St Lucia and specifically Castries on business for the first time - a little concerned after reading everyone’s comments! Not sure I’m going to feel that safe.
    I hope that is not the case though.

    (0)(0)
  3. We need to get it together. We have a culture here of envy, ignorance, greed and ridicule. ignoring the truth wont save anyone. when we disrespect each other's humanity, livelihood, name and other, how can people act surprised? too many people here lack the self esteem which makes a person want to help others. too many encourage their neighbour and peer to criticize and belittle others. which of those could find peace? all they know is harm.
    more people lack direction, purpose and self assurance to build others up and be kind. so we would only be surrounded by negativity and unrest because thats what we as a culture keep supporting and think is entertaining and good.
    What may help from this point is teaching the school children what self love and respect for others is. what will help is harshly punishing criminals who disrespect people's humanity. so murderers and rapists, and corrupt politicians, pastors, doctors, police.
    the old heads tend to be too hard, they will not see the connection. what you did to others is right now coming back to you. dont be surprised. these headlines are what poor parenting and a hate-full culture produce. too see better, we need to do better.

    (3)(0)
  4. I think it is a culture which is being adopted. Right now not even Christians are willing to resolve their problem Peacefully. The only thing they are yet to do is fight in church. However they harbor the hatred for ages and are not willing to forgive one another.

    (3)(0)
  5. Release the IMPACS report.

    (0)(0)
  6. Francis really wants to make a difference, but does not have the answer, and cannot do it alone. Keep trying bro. Don't give up.

    (3)(0)
  7. The psychotherapists and sociologists may invent all the creative terminologies and definitions and solutions for the deviant behaviour in society that they wish to. The underlying issue has been and will always be the sin filled heart of human beings. Nothing more, nothing less. God alone can transform and regenerate the heart. We love others best when we love God most. We will continue to elect successive governments and task them with the mandate to eliminate the crime situation and bring us peace and safety, but that day will never come. Saint Lucia and the rest of the world will never see peace until the Prince of Peace rejgns supreme - in our hearts and over the planet.

    (3)(0)
    • The psychotherapists and sociologists may likely suggest the same principles talked about in the bible that deal with these issues. evaluations can lead people to know more about Him.
      I agree about the people, not gov, being responsible. those elected represented the qualities most voters liked.
      badness is encouraged, like sleeping around, being meanspirited, looking for trouble with others.and goodness is the joke. a lot of youth think doing evil things to each other is the way. they see bad parenting, they view bad media, they lack self love so they look to hurt others, anybody, to feel better. the bible mentions it all. they plot harm for others and tear down those who may do good. psychologists may call it superiority complex, etc. it all has its roots and if they dont get sorted out, they either become like this or raise children like these. we dont want this. so whatever approach taken, it will need to be a serious one.

      (0)(0)
    • That's the problem everyone is waiting for their Lord to come and thinking of ways to save the youth. What deeds or help have you given you fellow man beside preaching to them and tell them they are sinner and devil's. Are you finding out the root cause of the issues of these individuals and is the community doing things to fix each issues one by one? Religion hasn't fixed any global situation so stop waiting for it, it's usually the roots of the problem because it dissent promote tolerance nor compassion. There ways of curing nature and you don't need a church to fix it. You need to preach self love and give the community a productive goal. Some incentive in the beginning to get people involved. Create more positive programs for the youth and find out their talents. Teach communication in schools. So they can resolve and find solutions for issues (six sigma). Make this mandatory then your communication problem will be better. This will also help them figure their own issues. The rest of the world sees what fruit the islands is producing and right now what they seeing is a bad crop that should be thrown away and wait for next season. Give the right care and love to your people and the fruit will be sweet. Guidance and protection from Dubai.

      (1)(0)
  8. Sign of the time man for to long we left the doors open for the devil and now he has infiltrated all aspect of the population seems like now its to late not sure if more killing will stop more killing.

    (2)(0)
  9. Sounds like a bunch of excuses and no possible solutions

    (2)(1)
  10. What you mean by changing attitude..we love our bad ass attitude..come on 👎

    (0)(1)
  11. what you mean by changing our attitude..we lucians love our bad ass attitude...

    (0)(1)
  12. 🌍The shitstem is rigged🌋

    What about creating jobs mr.francis so it can occupy ppl minds stably and financially.u are really acting like u don't know the resolution.do u think picking bags of garbage around the city for $5 is gonna help?we need real results so ppl can sustain and cater for their families and getting frustrated by the min...those young girls in the brawling video can't you tell that they are unoccupied in being productive.most of them pastors demonize the youngsters some goes as far as molesting them.so definitely this is not the answer

    (4)(3)
    • that may be true about the jobs but if someone does not want to work can you force them? also they have this stigma as "garcon me i a want to work there uh" look at so many security firms that hiring individuals look at the gas stations that maybe need pump attendants, car washes, selling coconuts. its not just the fact of making or supplying jobs cause most people create their own job if they cant find one but most of these individuals refuse to work. also there are places one can go to get training so they can get a job so the resources are there. people just refuse to use them.

      (2)(0)
  13. What are you and your government doing about it. Time to step up. We all have a part to play in fighting crim in our country. After all we should be our brother's keeper!

    (6)(1)
  14. Any time something good is happening in a community or Constituency the people have to find somehow or the other to reverse the good being achieved. Because of the Lucia will always be crying generation to generation, so stop blaming government and police, start blaming the PEOPLE themselves. If you wan a change in St. Lucia the change must start with the people by changing their attitudes, their approach, behavioural patterns and seek help from each other not hatred and fights.

    (5)(2)
  15. st Lucian at heart

    You can clean it up by breaking down my mom's tray and having her wail on mother's day. Here is your job description. Clean up the city of your neighbours sons who continue to smoke and shoot in your back yard.

    (5)(3)
  16. You can clean it up by breaking down my mom's tray and having her wail on mother's day. Here is your job description. Clean up the city of your neighbours sons who continue to smoke and shoot in your back yard.

    (0)(4)
  17. Wow....is this the St Lucia that i was born and raised in...where out parents tell us to respect people..i have no words to say..this was going on a long time ago.it started in school abusing children that was entrusted in their care...wow...Sad Sad 😥

    (1)(0)
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