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Minister says Saint Lucia’s judiciary too soft on criminals

By SNO Staff

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Scene of a homicide in Castries.

(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.

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6 comments

  1. PASSING THE BUCK TO THE JUDICIARY

    Seemed that this Minister had reported his inability to curb criminality within the nation.

    It appears that he has reached the level of his ministerial competency.

    Here is where a decisive Prime Minister shall focus his administrative attention and effect ministerial change.

    Yes! There may be a crime problem.

    However, all the possible contributory factors shall be looked at, and not just the Court or the Criminal Justice system.

    What of the socioeconomic factors that continue to plague indigent communities, particularly those living at the edge of poverty?

    On the issue of bail, doesn't the Constitution provides for it, particularly in cases that allow for bail?

    The Judiciary through the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and Bar Association should rebuff such suggestion.

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  2. Anonymous Dec.24th. @ 10.08 A.M. you are perfectly right and I agree.
    From one bad mother, to another bad mother, and to another, and so on, and so on.

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  3. STOP BLAMING POLITICIANS. Their parents are into all kinds of misadventures with no time to raise their pop-out kids resulting from one-night stands and sexual favours for clothes, bling-bling, and fete money. Some parents themselves are into criminal mischief doing drugs, selling guns and stealing cars. Some have chosen crime as their way of life. That is why the mandatory sentencing for some crimes should have such miscreants literally rot in jail, healthwise and otherwise.

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  4. If you don’t have a working criminal court what can happen to criminals? The court closed in April for refurbishment and still its closed, so how can anything progress?

    (5)(0)
  5. You are sitting in office and can effect change. Stop lamenting about deficiencies and be a change agent. Example, mandatory sentencing for guns should have been your number one priority. Full stop. The fact that you are happy since the opposition is not talking about the serious issue speaks volumes. A sure sign that you are clueless. Politicians can talk about the health, budget, tourism, sex but they want others to keep quiet about crime. It' resembles resignation, surrender or both.

    (5)(3)

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