A word of caution has been extended to gang members and youth in general in light of the recent spike in criminal gang activity on the island.
President of the National Youth Council (NYC) of Saint Lucia Timothy Ferdinand in an interview with Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) advised the youth to simply think before they act.
“We want to encourage young persons to be more careful in how they respond to their personal situations, whether at home, at school or at work. Just be more careful and think before acting. Think of all the options before acting,” he told SNO.
Ferdinand believes that the country is at a place where crime needs to be tackled from its source.
Unemployment and a lack of conflict resolution skills among young people are two of these sources, he opined.
He noted however, that shortcomings in the island’s justice system are also making matters worse.
Ferdinand wants there to be a quicker response time between the detection of crime and the actual solving and or prosecution of crimes.
He believes that the current backlog of cases which exists in the court system pose a disadvantage to those awaiting justice – both for those who remain on remand for long periods of time awaiting trial and for the victims of crime and their families.
“An absence of an effective justice system is at the core of what we are experiencing right now and also the fact that we are reacting to the environment that we are living right now…” he said.
He said that the NYC is in support of calls for another resident judge and that the NYC will rally for any actions or initiatives that will reduce the time frame in which justice is carried out in the country.
“We support the move for resourcing in the courts to ensure that they have what they need to function. We know it’s expensive. The expense is a deterrent at this time however it is an investment in the peace and security of the citizens. If you have a peaceful society and persons have confident in the justice system then persons will react in the right manner towards conflict. When you have persons who don’t have confident in the courts and in the police then they would resort to their own actions,” he said.