Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has reiterated his government’s commitment to fighting gang and gun-related crimes in St. Lucia.
Speaking at the commissioning of the new Babonneau Police Station this week, Dr. Anthony said while the enactment of gang-related legislation was not possible during the last session of parliament, the matter will not be swept under the rug.
“We will shortly be re-introducing this Bill to the House of Assembly for its consideration,” he said.
The prime minister also warned that an apparent rise in gang and gun-related crimes should not be ignored.
“In the past, we silently ignored the mushrooming of gangs in our midst, sometimes under the misguided notion of freedom of association. But since when an association established for criminal enterprise, to steal, murder and plunder at will is protected by our constitution?” he stated.
Dr. Anthony said that having a peaceful community is paramount and noted that enacting the legislation will complement the police’s ‘assiduous’ efforts in fighting the phenomenon.
“This is no longer merely an urban or inner city phenomenon. It has spread to encompass suburban communities as well. Officers assigned to this new station will have to engage the community in countering the rise of such groups. The networks of drug trafficking, mayhem and malice must be defeated by a network of surveillance, intelligence and smart might,” he said.
“Crime grows fast in environments that appear not to be managed, or in places that seem to be forgotten or cast aside. Today, we must say clearly, that we want a crime-free Babonneau. We want a peaceful community in which you can nurture your children, in which your life, limb, property and other liberties are respected,” he added.