Following several homicides on Sunday, some of which are believed to be gang related, the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) is calling for the immediate implementation of specific and assertive law enforcement and anti-crime measures by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
Political leader of the LPM Therold Prudent told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Monday that in order to deal with the issue of murder and/or gang warfare in the specific communities in which they are happening, there is need for better policing in these areas to the point where entry and exit is restricted and scrutinised.
He said metal detectors and drug sniffer dogs could also be used in these operations, in order to prevent and discourage the movement of firearms and narcotics, and to confine and contain the violence within a manageable area until each area could be considered effectively crime free.
“Prepare for the migration of the criminal element to other areas once these hotspots are isolated and contained, and identify the key players and follow and contain them wherever they go, so that anywhere a territory is claimed and similar criminality erupts, the same techniques be employed again to suppress and diffuse, with the goal of creating overlapping crime free zones until the entire nation is crime free,” Prudent added.
The LPM leader is also recommending that the RSLPF pay special attention to the flow of guns into the country by monitoring and controlling all vessels and water craft attempting to approach these shores.
“Landings should be restricted to registered ports complete with customs officials to police what is being brought into the country. No craft should be allowed to traverse open water and then come ashore without first being inspected for contraband,” he asserted.
But more importantly, Prudent said there is need to implement a zero tolerance policy on the possession of illegal handguns, with the creation of a gun court in which all offenders could be quickly tried and sentenced if convicted.
“Strip all inbound cargo containers for detailed inspection of the contents as an essential effort in stopping the flow of guns and drugs into the country. And provide incentives to business and public transportation vehicle owners to install surveillance cameras.”
The LPM leader said that his party acknowledges that many of the foregoing points may be considered draconian but they believe that “desperate times call for desperate measures to fix the mess that Saint Lucia is currently in.”
“The people of Saint Lucia must not suffer any longer as a result of the habitual placing of narrow partisan interests over what is best for our country. The nation must be inspired by decisive and effective action, along with the creation of a national consensus free of partisan rancour aimed at dealing once and for all with Saint Lucia’s worsening problems.”