(SNO) — With Saint Lucia facing a rising gun crime problem, National Security Minister Hermangild Francis is of the opinion that the courts are too lenient with criminals and should get tougher to tackle the issue.
He told HTS News that often criminal with matters before the courts are granted bail.
“So when you arrest a young man with a firearm and tomorrow he is back on the streets and you look, they are repeat offenders, repeat offenders, repeat offenders,” he said. “People say about there is no work and there is lack of housing and so on. Yes, all those things contribute but there are people who have made up their minds this is how they want to live their life and no matter how much work you give them, no matter what you do, this is how they going to live their life.”
He said he is happy that the police are stepping up and he urges them to use the law since, according to him, “the law is correct”.
“If persons do not want to understand that it is illegal to carry a firearm, police officers must take action and take the action very forcefully,” he noted.
Francis also congratulated the opposition, saying they have not made negative comments in relation to the rise in crime.
“That augurs good, well for our country,” he stated. “But the stakeholders, like the Chamber of Commerce, who made comments, the clergy, people with clubs and this sort of things, the judiciary, everybody must play their part.”
So far this year Saint Lucia has recorded 42 homicide, including a police killing.